A Biden presidency could have an enormous impact on net neutrality, one of the most contested rules in recent years.
Net neutrality laws were implemented under President Obama. The purpose of the regulation was to ensure platforms had equal footing, regardless of size or reach. Proponents of net neutrality say it is vital to ensure internet service providers can’t choke out a competitor by charging it or its customers more for access. A perfect example is AT&T recently favoring its own HBO Max service over Netflix, by now counting HBO Max access against customers’ mobile data usage.
Opponents of the regulation say it unnecessarily regulates the internet and stifles investment. These companies, including at one point AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, point to the long and successful history of the internet without any such regulation existing.
Shortly after Ajit Pai was appointed FCC Chairman, the FCC rolled back the net neutrality rules, despite its broad support from Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Netflix and others. Supporters of net neutrality unsuccessfully sued to prevent the rollback. While the courts said the FCC was within its rights, it did not allow the FCC to block individual states from implementing their own net neutrality rules, as some have done.
Throughout the campaign, Joe Biden said very little about net neutrality, although its restoration is part of the Democratic platform. As a result, it’s a safe bet we haven’t heard the last of net neutrality on a national scale.