Executive Order Points to Broadband Abuses
President Biden, in a wide-ranging executive order, covered a large number of areas that the government must address “to promote the interests of American workers, businesses and consumers.”
His recent Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy appears to signal a return to net neutrality for broadband service providers. It says, “today a small number of dominant internet platforms use their power to exclude market entrants, to extract monopoly profits, and to gather intimate personal information that they can exploit for their own advantage.”
The order states that, “In the telecommunications sector, Americans likewise pay too much for broadband, cable television and other communications services, in part because of a lack of adequate competition.”
It goes on to call for several rulemaking actions to curb these alleged abuses, including:
-Future spectrum auctions using “rules designed to help avoid excessive concentration of spectrum license holdings in the United States…”
-A rulemaking that requires broadband service providers to display a broadband consumer label which would give consumers “clear, concise, and accurate information regarding…prices and fees, performance and network practices.”
-Another rulemaking requiring “broadband service providers to regularly report…prices and subscription rates” to the FCC.
-A fourth rulemaking to prevent landlords and cable and internet service providers from inhibiting tenants’ choices among providers.”
It seems that a return to more stringent Title I regulation of broadband service providers would be a logical first step in implementing these kinds of sweeping reforms. President Biden will need to appoint a fifth Commissioner to the FCC to give Democrats a 3-2 majority.