Deep Dive Episode 15 – Exploring Net Neutrality and the Implications of Repeal
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For about a decade, some legal scholars have urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet to ensure “net neutrality,” a content nondiscrimination standard for Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon. This concept has gained popular support, particularly among young adults and those in the tech industry. In 2015, at the behest of President Barack Obama, the FCC created net neutrality regulations and cited Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 as its authority. However, there are other legal scholars who have pushed back. Some FCC commissioners even view the rules and the asserted legal authority as illegitimate and as a threat to free speech online, the development of new technology services, and telecom industry investment. In December 2017 the Republican commissioners, who now form a majority, appear ready to totally repeal the 2015 net neutrality regulations. Brent Skorup will discuss the history of the net neutrality movement, the 2015 rules, the First Amendment issues at stake, and the effect of repealing the rules.
Research Fellow in the Technology Policy Program, Mercatus Center at George Mason University