WASHINGTON DC – An old battle over who governs the internet will likely reignite as Democrats take control of the Federal Communications Commission following the inauguration of Joe Biden. Reinstating Obama-era net neutrality rules thrown out under the Trump administration will likely be a top priority for the agency, experts say.
Earlier this week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, an appointee of President Donald Trump, announced he’ll be stepping down from his post on Jan. 20 — the day Biden is sworn in. That paves the way for a Democrat to lead the agency and reestablish the FCC’s authority to impose rules of the road for the internet.
At stake in this battle is who, if anyone, will police the internet to ensure that broadband companies aren’t abusing their power as gatekeepers. The 2015 rules adopted under FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, prevented broadband providers from blocking or slowing access to the internet or charging for faster access.