As expected, the Federal Communications Commission has formerly announced a new net neutrality proposal.
Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the new proposal, making the case that such regulation was more important than ever in a post-pandemic world when people rely on the internet far more than in the past.
“In the wake of the pandemic and the generational investment in internet access, we have a window to update our policies to make sure that the internet is not only open, but fast and fair, safe and secure,” said Rosenworcel. I am committed to seizing this opportunity. Now is the time for our rules of the road for internet service providers to reflect the reality that internet access is a necessity for daily life. Let’s get to it.”
Rosenworcel outlined the benefits to consumers:
- Openness – Establish basic rules for Internet Service Providers that prevent them from blocking legal content, throttling your speeds, and creating fast lanes that favor those who can pay for access.
- Security – Reclassify broadband internet access to give the FCC and its national security partners the tools needed to defend our networks from potential security threats.
- Safety – Allow the FCC to enhance the resiliency of broadband networks and bolster efforts to require providers to notify the FCC and consumers of internet outages.
- Nationwide Standard – Establish a uniform national standard rather than a patchwork of state-by-state approaches, benefiting consumers and Internet Service Providers.
The Chairwoman plans to release the full proposal on Thursday. Meanwhile, she urged individuals to keep an open mind regarding the regulation.
On Thursday, I will release the full text of this rulemaking. It seeks comment on putting back in place policies to prevent your broadband provider from engaging in blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization along with a general conduct rule that prohibits your broadband provider from unreasonably interfering or unreasonably disadvantaging consumers from going where they want and doing what they want online. For consumers, this means internet openness, security, safety—and one nationwide net neutrality standard they can count on. Three weeks later, on October 19, I will ask my colleagues to vote. And, if we get at least three votes to kick off this rulemaking, I promise you I will do a lot of listening. We all need to have an open mind and would all benefit from a fresh record on this subject.