U.S. President Joe Biden’s Executive Order Calls For The Restoration Of Net Neutrality


U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order earlier today, calling for the restoration of net neutrality. Net neutrality rules ensure that internet providers cannot manipulate speeds to favour certain sites at the expense of others, or block access to selected portals.

The Obama administration’s Federal Communications Commission ensured that net neutrality rules were cemented into U.S. law, but was later dismantled by FCC chairman Ajit Pai who was appointed during the Trump era.

Biden looks to rebuild the Obama administration’s work that was undone during Trump’s tenure. “Big providers can use their power to discriminatorily block or slow down online services,” says the order. “The Obama-Biden Administration’s FCC adopted ‘Net Neutrality’ rules that required these companies to treat all internet services equally, but this was undone in 2017. In the Order, the President encourages the FCC to restore Net Neutrality rules undone by the prior administration.”

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The order says that the open internet acts as a tool for everyday Americans to “conduct commerce, communicate, educate, entertain, and engage in the world around them.” It goes on to say that it is essential for the internet to remain open to encourage commerce, speech, and innovation in the country.

“Informed by the views of nearly 4 million commenters, our staff-led roundtables, numerous ex parte presentations, meetings with individual Commissioners and staff, and more, our decision today—once and for all—puts into place strong, sustainable rules, grounded in multiple sources of our legal authority, to ensure that Americans reap the economic, social, and civic benefits of an open Internet today and into the future,” summarised the introduction of the order.

As pointed out by PC Gamer, the order also urges the FCC to prevent ISPs from striking exclusivity deals with landlords of various properties which would force tenants to avail only a specific service. These deals left tenants with no choice but to go along with the service provider that signed a deal with the landlord of the property. It also aims to put a cap on the harsh early termination fees which would be levied upon customers if they wanted to switch from one service provider to another.

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