Several Democrat Congressional leaders have recently urged President Biden to nominate a new Federal Communications Commission Chairman, or to begin the process of making interim Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s position permanent and appointing a third Democrat Commissioner. In other words, provide Democrats the 3-2 majority that is their just reward for winning the presidency, and to do it NOW.
While a Democrat-controlled FCC will have somewhat different priorities and goals than its Ajit Pai-led Republican predecessor, none will be, in all probability, as controversial or as hotly contested as the hornets’ nest of net neutrality. The FCC under Trump’s administration changed the regulation of broadband companies from telecommunications back to information providers. Biden’s FCC will likely make these same internet providers once again follow telecommunications standards.
Will a return to more restrictive telecom regulation decrease broadband investment, which Republicans have rightfully pointed out? Or will internet users be subjected to closing, or throttling, or other abuses of consumer rights and interests – often warned of by Democrats — if more stringent regulation is not quickly re-imposed?
We certainly need to continue to close the digital divide between the poor in urban and rural areas, and wealthier areas of our nation. It appears as if we will soon have the opportunity to find out if more regulation will help in this very important effort.