John Hendel

The Trump official who wants to save net neutrality

Earl Comstock, a high-ranking deputy to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, is quietly pushing for President Donald Trump to support a congressional effort to restore the net neutrality rules, He is advising that President Trump back a resolution that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission repeal, a move that would put President Trump in direct opposition to Ajit Pai, his hand-picked FCC chairman.

No Shift on Net Neutrality

Republicans aren’t exactly rushing to support the Congressional Review Act resolution from Senate Democrats to restore the Obama-era net neutrality rules. While net neutrality advocates are trying to secure that elusive 51st vote, prominent GOP members are scoffing. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Boozman (R-AR) plan to vote against the CRA. “That was pretty much a no-brainer for me, it wasn’t even a difficult decision,” said Sen Corker who is retiring, arguing that the internet functioned fine before the Federal Communications Commission regulations.

America's digital divide, in 2 maps

Both maps illustrate just what a patchwork broadband access remains in the United States, with well-connected areas right next to disconnected areas. Overall, more than 30 percent of rural America still lacks access to what the Federal Communications Commission considers adequate broadband. That’s a stark contrast from urban areas, where only 2.1 percent lack this connectivity.

Make the internet American again? Trump's NTIA pick opened the door

President Donald Trump's pick to head the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, David Redl, privately assured Republican senators that he would look at reversing the Obama administration's decision to give up US oversight of over ICANN, the global nonprofit that manages the internet's domain name system. Redl made the pledge  to Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), who had condemned the move to international control as a giveaway that could empower authoritarian governments.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Thune: net neutrality is not an election issue

 Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune (R-SD) says the average American is not likely to be swayed in the 2018 midterms by Senate Democrats forcing a vote on reinstating the net neutrality rules. “I think they see it as a really hot political issue [that] gets their base kind of energized.

House Commerce Committee Chairman Walden "deeply disappointed" FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel asked for net neutrality delay

House Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) took aim against FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who joined Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D-NY) to bash fake comments and call for a delay to the Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality rules. “There is no reason” for delay, said Chairman Greg Walden. “That is a false issue, and I am deeply disappointed in the role that Commissioner Rosenworcel has decided to play in this matter.

FCC's Pai Steps Up Pitch to Conservatives to Back Net Neutrality Plan

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is making the rounds to rally supporters behind his plan to roll back the neutrality rules. His efforts include a huddle with House Republicans set for Thursday and a visit to the Senate Republican.

Taking Net Neutrality to Court

Defenders of the Federal Communications Commission's current Open Internet rules are plotting out a legal challenge to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to repeal them. This would be the latest in a series of court battles over FCC net neutrality authority. Several groups including Public Knowledge, Free Press, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla and the Computer & Communications Industry Association expressed interest in a legal challenge, which may consume much of 2018.