Dem-Majority FCC Restores Net Neutrality

( – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to restore net neutrality rules introduced during the Obama administration. Ajit Pai, chairman during the Trump administration, repealed the regulations that some critics have labeled a “leftist power grab.”

Net neutrality essentially prevents internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or slowing access to websites, but Committee member Brendan Carr opposed restoring them because he said they would reduce speed across the board and increase prices. FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon furthermore argued that the regulations amount to a seizure of control by the government that will stifle the free market and limit innovation.

James Czerniawski of Americans for Prosperity called the rules “Bidenomics for the internet.” He said internet speeds have increased since the Trump administration, while prices have reduced and choices expanded.

The net neutrality debate centers around the proper role of government in regulating the internet, with some arguing that regulations allow for equal access, while others say consumers should have a choice and be able to pay for higher speeds. Proponents say neutrality promotes freedom of speech and prevents ISPs from deciding what their customers see online. Some also credit neutrality with providing a level playing field for companies, some of whom cannot afford to pay providers to promote their businesses, stifling competition.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said that while the FCC re-enacts the regulations, it has done little to hold big tech companies accountable. He called this “the greatest threat on the internet.” The Republican claims that private companies, such as Facebook owner Meta, have “more control over more speech than any institution in history.” He called for legislative action to address discriminatory conduct, including reform of Section 230 – which provides companies with legal immunity for the content posted on their sites.

Critics say Section 230 is a free-for-all for websites, who take little action to protect users, or to prevent political discrimination, because they are effectively unaccountable. President Trump called for a repeal during his first White House term.

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