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Net neutrality is about to make a comeback

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the upcoming vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to restore net neutrality rules, which have been a subject of political debate for years. It provides an overview of the key issues and perspectives surrounding the net neutrality debate.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The FCC's Upcoming Net Neutrality Vote

1. What is the FCC expected to do in their upcoming vote on net neutrality?

  • The FCC is expected to reclassify internet service providers (ISPs) as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, which would subject them to greater oversight by the FCC.
  • This move is widely expected to result in the restoration of net neutrality rules, as the FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, controls the agency's agenda.

2. What are the key arguments made by net neutrality proponents and opponents? Proponents:

  • Oversight can help ensure fair access to an open internet by upholding principles like no blocking or throttling of internet traffic.


  • Reclassifying ISPs as common carriers could halt innovation and subject them to onerous price regulations.
  • The lack of major issues after the repeal of net neutrality rules in 2017 shows the rules were never needed.

3. How has the rhetoric around net neutrality rules changed since the previous implementation in 2015?

  • Opponents now argue that the lack of fallout after the repeal shows the rules were never needed, while advocates argue that state laws kept some of their greatest fears in check in the absence of federal rules.
  • The FCC is also focusing on how the rules could give it insight into internet outages and authority over national security issues with broadband equipment.

[02] The History of Net Neutrality Regulations

1. What was the timeline of net neutrality regulations in the past?

  • The FCC first imposed net neutrality rules in 2015 after a long fight and a loud campaign of grassroots support.
  • In 2017, the Trump-appointed FCC chair Ajit Pai led the successful effort to repeal the rules.
  • President Biden has made clear his intention to bring back net neutrality, but the effort was delayed by a protracted battle over his initial nominee for a commissioner.

2. How have the political dynamics around net neutrality changed over time?

  • Net neutrality is no longer the biggest tech policy issue on many Americans' minds, with other issues like TikTok's ties to China and data privacy taking more prominence.
  • However, net neutrality remains a goal for many progressives who see it as essential for an open internet.

[03] Potential Impacts of Restoring Net Neutrality

1. What are the key concerns raised by industry opponents about reclassifying ISPs as common carriers?

  • Opponents fear that reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers will eventually let the FCC control pricing, which they worry will disincentivize innovation.
  • They also argue that the lack of major issues after the repeal of net neutrality rules shows the rules were never needed.

2. How do proponents respond to the industry's arguments?

  • Proponents argue that state laws, like California's net neutrality rules, helped keep the worst behaviors in check in the absence of federal rules.
  • They also contend that net neutrality is just the start of the fight for internet policies, as there are many other "gatekeepers" on the internet beyond just ISPs.

3. What is the outlook for the stability of net neutrality rules going forward?

  • There is a possibility that a new administration could flip the switch on net neutrality rules again, continuing the political "ping-pong" on the issue.
  • However, some hope for more stability, with the view that winning net neutrality rules should be followed by moving on to address other internet policy challenges.
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