The new chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Jessica Rosenworcel, is planning to reinstate net neutrality rules that were rescinded under former President Donald Trump. This move comes after Democrats gained majority control of the FCC for the first time since President Joe Biden took office. The net neutrality proposal is set to be voted on in October. In 2017, the FCC voted to reverse the rules that prevented internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes. Rosenworcel denounced this repeal, stating that it put the FCC on the wrong side of history and the American public.
The decision to reinstate net neutrality rules is in response to an executive order signed by President Biden that encouraged the FCC to do so. This order was meant to restore the rules that were adopted under former President Barack Obama in 2015. The move by Rosenworcel is seen as a step towards restoring a free and open internet. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2022 that the FCC’s reversal of the net neutrality protections could not block state action, allowing California’s net neutrality law to stand. Industry groups have also abandoned further legal challenges to the law.
Rosenworcel’s plans to reinstate net neutrality rules will be outlined in a speech that is scheduled to take place on Tuesday. The decision to bring back these rules is seen as a victory for advocates of a free and open internet, who argue that net neutrality is necessary to prevent internet service providers from discriminating against certain types of content or giving preferential treatment to certain websites. The FCC’s initial vote on the net neutrality proposal is expected to take place in October.