“During Ajit Pai’s reign at the FCC, we saw what it looked like when the foxes ran the chicken coop. Under this administration, which has failed to get a fifth FCC commissioner in over a year, nobody is running the chicken coop and the foxes—ISPs and media outlets—are rampant.”Brandon Forester, National Organizer for Internet Rights and Platform Accountability at MediaJustice in The Daily Dot
For most of the last generation, US regulators have been a glorified stamp on the country’s telecom and media monopolies: they busily swiped consumer protections, ignored rampant billing fraud, and routinely sanctioned competition and job cuts as well as industry consolidation. All while paying lip service to reform
There was hope that this would change when Democrats took over Congress and the White House in 2020, promising to restore net neutrality and address the digital divide that became apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. But two years later, the Democrats have hesitated and time is ticking.
Industry watchers and consumer groups say that a medium-term GOP takeover of Congress could significantly worsen an already dire situation for the US telecom and media sectors, leading to less affordable broadband access, less consumer protection, higher prices and a government that is shifting continues to turn a blind eye to the dangers of widespread monopoly.