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FCC Adopts Biden's Controversial Internet Regulation Plan Amidst Criticism

Published in Blog on November 16, 2023 by Brianna Kraemer

The fate of Biden’s ‘digital equity’ internet plan that enables the government to ‘micromanage’ nearly every aspect of the internet was determined on Wednesday. In a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the rule to prevent digital discrimination, a move that critics argue constitutes a significant overreach into the private sector and the free market.

Last month, the president called on the FCC to implement a one-page section of the 2021 Infrastructure Act by adopting new rules of breathtaking scope, all in the name of digital equity. After Wednesday's meeting, the proposed rules passed, which is the first broadband access anti-discrimination law of the digital age. 

Despite the Biden administration's assertion that the plan is designed to ensure equal access to internet services, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr dissented, sounding the alarm in his testimony over the “limitless power” the plan gives the FCC over internet companies. 

“The Biden administration's entire approach to the internet… can be boiled down to one single word – control,” declared Commissioner Carr. “But the Biden administration is taking away all the wrong lessons from its failed policies. Rather than righting the ship, the Biden administration is going hard left. It's now blaming the private sector and free market capitalism itself for the administration's own policy shortfalls.”

The proposed rule provides the FCC with unprecedented authority to regulate various aspects of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), including network infrastructure, speeds, pricing, and customer service. Carr highlights the broad and vague language used in the order, expressing concern that it leaves little room for compliance.

SEE ALSO: Gov’t ‘digital equity’ plan empowers administrative state to micromanage nation’s internet

Days before the vote, Sen. Ted Cruz led 27 of his colleagues in calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rescind its draft order. Cruz said Democrats are plowing ahead with government-mandated affirmative action and race-based pricing for broadband. He called the equity plan ‘Orwellian’ and said the plan only benefits overzealous government regulators who want to control the Internet.

The plan will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. 

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