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Will President Biden’s executive order really bring Net Neutrality to the US?

While the order readopts the country's regulations from 2014, do they sufficiently address threats against net neutrality like zero-rated content and paid prioritisation? Will these provisions be enough in the age of antitrust?  On Friday, US President Joe Biden issued a sweeping executive order on the subject of antitrust and competition. A part of this order said that: (l) The Chair of the Federal Communications Commission is encouraged to work with the rest of the Commission, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to consider: (i) Adopting through appropriate rulemaking “Net Neutrality” rules similar to those previously adopted under title II of the Communications Act of 1934 (Public Law 73-416, 48 Stat. 1064, 47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.), as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, in “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet,” 80 Fed. Reg. 19738 (Apr. 13, 2015); All this to say: The US is gearing up to restore Net Neutrality rules that were rolled back by the Donald Trump administration. To recap: Net Neutrality is the concept that all traffic on the internet needs to be treated equally by internet service providers, without throttling, blocking, or discriminatory pricing. The problem for the US, though, is that their Net Neutrality rules didn't do much to address market harm in the first place. For instance, mobile and fixed-line networks in the US can "zero rate" content, where content on a few pre-selected services is offered for free but other internet traffic is metered. This leads to inherent market imbalances and limits consumer…

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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