US President-elect Donald Trump has appointed two advisers who will help with the telecom policy agenda at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These two people are not really what we call friends of net neutrality. As a matter of fact, both of them have been clear in public about their views on net neutrality rules. The same rules which stop network providers to be biased towards particular forms of online content. One of the two is, Jeff Eisenach who is an economist and at one point of time worked for Verizon. He, co-chairman of consulting firm National Economic Research Associates, had been particularly vocal about his opposition to net neutrality. He reportedly called out against the rules, terming them as ‘crony capitalism’ supported by the argument that such rules, if implemented, will be ‘highly damaging’ to the markets. The another person is Mark Jamison who belonged to Sprint’s lobbying team. Both of them have been a part of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative group which had campaigned against internet freedom.
Mark Jamison in an opinion piece for Tech Policy Daily, asked whether the FCC was even required anymore. He wrote, “Most of the original motivations for having an FCC have gone away. Telecommunications network providers and ISPs are rarely, if ever, monopolies. If there are instances where there are monopolies, it would seem overkill to have an entire federal agency dedicated to the ex-ante regulation of their services. A well-functioning Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in conjunction with state authorities, can handle consumer protection and anticompetitive conduct issues.”
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
But the question is, will such big changes that Trump’s advisers might encourage happen so quickly and not take public comment into consideration? Proper net neutrality rules ensure the security of new entrepreneurs and that the get similar opportunities that are enjoyed by biggies like Facebook, Google and Amazon. At the same time, it ensures that internet providers get the same benefit by serving people in rural areas as that from the city crowd.
Though there have been many efforts against it, but at least the FCC had said that it will put a check on such efforts. But a Trump government might not even pretend about any adherence to net neutrality rules altogether.