Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (2017 to 2021) Ajit Pai had been outspoken against net neutrality since at least 2014 and once head of the FCC worked to undo it: Net neutrality in the United States: Rollback to Title I information services under the Trump administration (2017–2020). For those like me who use visual cues to recall past events, one can search "Ajit Pai giant coffee mug" or "Ajit Pai light saber". For more serious reminders search "net neutrality public comment letters".

Per Pai's Wikipedia page:

Pai resigned on January 20, 2021, the day of Joe Biden's inauguration as President of the United States.

Per Wikipedia's Net neutrality in the United States; Timeline of significant events the last two items listed currently are:

  • October 27, 2020 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) votes 3-2 to reaffirm the rolling back of net neutrality regulations.227
  • February 8, 2021 - The U.S. Justice Department dropped its legal challenge to California's net neutrality statute.228,229

227Klar, Rebecca (October 27, 2020). "FCC reaffirms order rolling back net neutrality regulations". TheHill. Retrieved November 2, 2020.

228"Justice Department drops challenge to California net neutrality rules". February 8, 2021.

229 https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-369799A1.pdf

Question: Has the Biden administration successfully restored US internet neutrality? Have they put safeguards in place to keep it that way?

The FCC reaffirmed the order rolling back net neutrality regulations in October 2020, the US presidential election was the next month in November, Biden was sworn in January 20, 2021 and Pai resigned the same day.

Since then how has the US federal government's actions affected the state of net neutrality in the US?


2 Answers 2


Q: Has the Biden administration successfully restored US internet neutrality? Have they put safeguards in place to keep it that way?

No and no.

Q: Since [the order rolling back net neutrality regulations in October 2020,] how has the US federal government's actions affected the state of net neutrality in the US?

There has been no effect.

On January 4, 2022, President Biden nominated Gigi Sohn to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). On March 3, 2022, the Senate committee "Failed to report favorably" the nomination. In the absence of another commissioner, the FCC has an even split between Democrats and Republicans, preventing any advancement of reinstating net neutrality.

On July 28, 2022, bills were introduced in the House (H.R.8573) and Senate (S.4676), both titled "Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act of 2022", to regulate "broadband internet access service" as a telecommunications service. Neither bill has advanced, nor is either likely to be enacted this session of Congress.

Any further action will have to wait until the 118th Congress (2023-2024).


I think "net neutrality" is very similar to "scientific neutrality" in highly technological societies: there is no such thing. We know that Big Fossil Fuel firms have used scientific data to augment their climate denialism on various fronts, as Big Tobacco did with the science showing tobacco was a carcinogen. And similarly to Big Finance who explained their Black-Scholes models delivered a "fair price" to derivatives because the mathematics was robust until the market meltdown of 2008. It tirns out moral hazard can be spread aroumd a financial system as well as great many toxic assets that were worth nothing like investors were told they were.

Recently, a number of Nobel Peace Prize winners came together advocating urgent action on an "existential crisis" facing liberal democracies of the West. The power of Big Tech. The proposals wwre presemted by the 2022 winners and were endorsed by 8 other laureates. They said:

We urge rights-respecting democracies to wake up to the existential threat of information ecosystems being distorted by a Big Tech business model fixated on harvestimg people's data and attention, even as it undermines serious journalism and polarises debate in society and political life.

This requires a much more active engagement of government with Big Tech - not "net neutrality". For example one proposal they advocate is an end to Surveillance Capitalism.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – CDJB
    Sep 20, 2022 at 7:53
  • 2
    It is abundantly clear from this answer that you have no idea what net neutrality is.
    – A. R.
    Sep 20, 2022 at 20:43
  • @Andrew Ray: I know wjat net neutrality is, I'm saying that there are more important considerations which transcemd net neutrality. Is that so hard to understand? Sep 21, 2022 at 20:21
  • @MoziburUllah Lack of effective net neutrality in the U.S. is a contributor to the other problems you've raised. If you don't like surveillance capitalism, you should support not allowing ISPs to monitor and prioritise or throttle traffic to particular sites, particularly when there's an extreme lack of ISP choice in the broadband market. (This could also be solved by introducing more competition; in Japan, for example, I have a choice of more than two dozen ISPs on my broadband connection. But lacking that, regulation can be helpful.)
    – cjs
    Dec 29, 2022 at 14:32

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