Friday, November 13, 2020

How Biden’s FCC could fix America’s internet - Vox

How Biden’s FCC could fix America’s internet - Vox
How Biden’s FCC could fix America’s internet
The FCC can bring back net neutrality and help Americans stay connected during the pandemic — if everything goes its way now.

When Joe Biden is inaugurated as president on January 20, he stands to oversee a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that could do remarkable things. Among other things, the new FCC could bridge the digital divide, ensuring all Americans have access to the internet. But even though Biden’s victory is assured, the future of the FCC hangs in the balance.

The Trump administration’s FCC has had a particular agenda. Under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, the agency has pushed to deregulate the industries under its purview and, in turn, to create a business-friendly environment with few rules, little accountability, and minimal oversight for some of the biggest and most powerful companies in the world. In the months and years to come, the FCC is likely to reverse some of those policies, especially Pai’s most controversial decision: repealing net neutrality, a policy that required internet service providers to treat all types of internet traffic the same. But getting broadband internet in as many homes as possible during the pandemic is many Democrats’ most urgent goal, and one they feel the Trump administration failed to accomplish.

“Because the Trump FCC failed to meaningfully address the digital divide, tens of millions of Americans still lack high-speed internet,” Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) told Recode. “This worsens the impacts of the pandemic, and the Biden administration has to take this head-on.”

She added: “Every person in our country must have high-speed internet. Period. We’ve failed for too long to expand access to rural and tribal areas, and too many urban communities can’t afford broadband.”

The Biden administration’s FCC can and likely will aid this effort by making the internet CONTINUE READING: How Biden’s FCC could fix America’s internet - Vox