On July 9, President Biden signed the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, and in it there were several provisions relating to ISPs and net neutrality. The executive order calls on US agencies like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to implement 72 specific provisions. The topics include restoring net neutrality provisions repealed during the prior administration and increasing scrutiny of tech monopolies.
The order also includes changes aimed at giving internet subscribers more choices and better service. It asks the FCC to require internet service providers to report prices and subscription rates, and prevent ISPs from making deals with landlords that limit tenants’ options.
One of the most interesting items is the revival of the “Broadband Nutrition Label” project that started in 2016. This label was conceived to provide a standardized format for providers to display price, data allowances and details about performance, similar to the labels on food at the grocery store.
The FCC has also been asked to start the process of requiring ISPs to regularly report their prices to the FCC to help “improve price transparency and market functioning.”
What is Net Neutrality?
If the term “net neutrality” is new to you, here are the basics. In December of 2010, the FCC passed the Open Internet Order, requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to give everyone equal access to everything they use the internet for. This order also prevented ISPs from creating pay-to-play “fast lanes” for faster delivery of content to those who could afford to pay more.
Seven years later, the FCC voted to repeal these rules and overturn net neutrality. The FCC chairman at the time who opposed the regulations said that they impeded innovation and were based on “hypothetical harms and hysterical prophecies of doom.”
For more background and a quick tutorial about net neutrality and how it can affect your internet experience check out these articles:
- Mozilla, Etsy and Others Join the Fight for Net Neutrality
- Softcom Position on Net Neutrality
- Just for laughs: Burger King breaks down net neutrality using the Whopper®
The fight may continue, but one thing remains the same – Softcom’s commitment to equal internet for all. Here at Softcom we believe that everyone should have the same opportunities to access the internet, no matter where they live, without your provider getting in the way of you getting the content you want. Our pledge to you is that we’ll continue to provide the best internet access and services to each and every customer.