According to the Biden administration, ISPs have the advantage over consumers with few broadband options. The latest executive order released on July 9th, 2021 encourages the Federal Communications Commission (FCC ) to level the playing field.
While the 52nd executive order from Biden has more in it – there are Four (4) parts that relate specifically to Broadband Internet Providers where Biden specifically calls on the FCC to enact a number of measures to improve competition and transparency.
1. Restore net neutrality rules
Biden’s naming of Jessica Rosenworcel as interim FCC chair as well as his encouragement in the 52nd executive order may make the way for a swift reinstatement of net neutrality.
2. Revive the ‘Broadband Nutrition Label’
With the lack of transparent pricing from most all broadband providers – the “Broadband Nutrition Label,” an effort initiated during the Obama administration, if reenacted by the FCC, would require broadband providers to report their prices and subscription rates to the FCC along with speed and availability data to be used to crate a simple label so that consumers are able to compare their options and make informed decisions.
3. Prevent ISP’s and Landlords from making Deals
Deals between ISPs and Landlords, according to the Biden Administration are a challenge when it comes to addressing and mitigating the digital divide. Potus’ administration believes they Not only do they create defacto Monopolies by eliminate options for residents but they also discourage competing providers from extending service to these communities. Biden’s order, if enacted by the FCC, would allow for renters to choose different providers and not be limited by the landlords private deals (old or new).
4. Disallow High Termination Fees
Providers such as ViaSat and HughesNet to name a few have not only two-year contracts but termination fees of upwards to $200 or more for any customer that chooses to cancel service earlier than the contract allows. This executive order calls for the FCC to limit “excessive early termination fees however does NOT give the FCC guidance defining what is “excessive.”
As of now – these are more of a suggestion to the FCC to enact – however none are the rule of law as of yet.