Should Biden bring back net neutrality?
While it’s still too early to call this year’s U.S. presidential elections, Adweek reports that leading candidate Joe Biden is likely to revive net neutrality, the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) have to treat all internet communications equally.
The Trump administration’s FCC, in contrast, repealed net neutrality in April 2017, returning ISPs to a classification in which they faced fewer regulations and were no longer considered “common carrier.”
Berin Szóka, founder of think tank TechFreedom, told Adweek that “even a centrist FCC chair would face overwhelming activist pressure to revive” net neutrality classifications.
Biden’s campaign platform specifically calls for a return to Obama-era net neutrality rules — when Biden was serving the role of vice president, as Bloomberg reports.
Others are less certain, though, that a Biden FCC would actually tackle the issue.
“Biden has moved on from yesterday’s net neutrality battles and will seek a new Communications Act that addresses the booming communications sector,” Brent Skorup, a senior research fellow at free market think tank Mercatus Center, told Adweek.
In fact, Biden’s Democratic opponents Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have since stepped out of the race, expressed strong support for net neutrality. Biden has not, as CNET pointed out in September.
“As Barack Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden was proud to push for net neutrality and see the FCC take direct action to keep the internet open and free for all Americans,” a spokesperson for Biden’s campaign told CNET at the time.
READ MORE: What to Expect: How a Biden Administration Would Tackle Tech Policy [Adweek]
More on net neutrality: The FCC Just Killed Net Neutrality