“A victory by Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election could usher in an abrupt change in the nation’s telecommunications policy, restoring so-called net neutrality regulation,” Bloomberg recently reported: Biden hasn’t talked much about the FCC during the campaign, but his party’s platform is specific. It calls for restoring net neutrality rules put in place under then-President Barack Obama when Biden served as vice president and taking a harder line on telecommunications mergers… If Biden wins, the FCC, which currently is at full five-member strength, could begin the new presidential term with a 2-to-1 Democratic majority, allowing it to move quickly. A Republican commissioner is leaving at the end of the current Congress and chairmen traditionally depart as a new administration arrives. Ajit Pai hasn’t indicated what he’ll do. He can stay on as a commissioner but a new president could strip him of the chairmanship and its power to control what policies advance to a vote… If Pai stays after a Biden win, “he’s denuded of power to do much of anything except to block things,” said Andrew Jay Schwartzman, a Washington telecommunications lawyer. Bloomberg also speculates that in addition, America’s FCC “may move to bar broadband providers from exempting their own entertainment or media offerings from data caps.” While there had been interest in such a move four years ago, Ajit Pai “squelched an agency move toward doing so soon after taking office in 2016.”
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