The Chair of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reportedly moving forward with a proposal to reestablish the Commission’s authority over broadband services across the U.S. by restoring net neutrality rules nationwide.
In a speech before the National Press Club in late September, Rosenworcel laid out her case to reinstate broadband internet services as an essential “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act. Arguing that the internet is too important to society and the economy not to have effective oversight, Rosenworcel proposed restoring net neutrality rules with the goal of protecting internet openness and consumers, defending national security, and advancing public safety.
“The COVID pandemic taught us—with painful clarity—just how important broadband access is in modern life,” Rosenworcel said in her speech. “We have made a historic commitment to ensure high-speed internet access reaches all. We have invested in this infrastructure like never before. Now let’s make sure it is fast, open, and fair for consumers everywhere.”
The FCC’s net neutrality rules were originally adopted by the Commission in 2015, based on a 2005 Policy Statement affirming open internet principles. But the rules were subsequently repealed by the Commission in 2018 under the Trump Administration.
In line with Rosenworcel’s proposal, the FCC is expected to release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by mid-October, detailing the plan to restore uniform net neutrality rules applicable to broadband providers nationwide.