The Trump Administration has officially thrown its support behind the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) net neutrality rolback – the quest to destroy net neutrality rules in America. Even up until earlier this week, Press Secretary Sean Spicer had been declining to comment on the President’s stance on net neutrality – as is appropriate given the FCC’s mandate as an independent governmental organization. However, the government’s plan for net neutrality rules now has support from the very top and includes plans to reintroduce significantly weaker net neutrality rules through Congress. Sarah Sanders, White House Deputy Press Secretary, told reporters at a press briefing yesterday:
“The previous administration went about this the wrong way by imposing rules on ISPs through the FCC’s Title II rulemaking power. We support the FCC chair’s efforts to review and consider rolling back these rules and believe that the best way to get fair rules for everyone is for Congress to take action and create regulatory and economic certainty.”
President Trump on Net Neutrality rollback
The President revealed his position on net neutrality years ago in 2014. He stated in a tweet:
Obama’s attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target conservative media.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2014
The recent statements by the Trump Administration suggest that Trump’s stance remains very much the same. As the end of FCC net neutrality rules loom, we’re left to wonder what protections will be provided, and when, if Congress is able to take action and provide its own net neutrality rules. Sanders continued in the press conference to assuage the public that the Trump Administration did care about net neutrality rules in principle, stating that:
“…rules of the road are important for everyone—website providers, Internet service providers, and consumers alike.”
Whatever weaker net neutrality rules might be created by a Republican controlled Congress, it has the Trump Administration’s support, and this is a path forward. An internet without FCC net neutrality rules will not be a pretty sight. ISPs are chomping at the bit and ready to break their pinky promises to uphold their version of “net neutrality” principles, which are just as vague and non-committal as the Trump Administration’s. For a taste of what might happen once FCC net neutrality rules are struck down, just check out the Removal of Net Neutrality Simulator.