Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Biden Executive Order Calls on the FCC to Restore Net Neutrality and Promote Broadband Competition


On Friday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling on federal agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission, to enact measures protecting internet users against the anti-competitive practices of large telecommunications and internet companies.

In the order, Biden calls on the FCC to “restore Net Neutrality rules undone by the [Trump] administration.” In 2017, the agency under then-Chairman Ajit Pai repealed the Open Internet Order and abandoned the FCC’s jurisdiction over broadband under Title II of the Communications Act.

Today’s executive order also calls on the FCC to require more transparency from broadband providers about their prices and terms of service, and to examine the impact of early termination fees and other punitive practices imposed on broadband customers.

Biden’s order is consistent with his campaign pledge to restore these vital protections. However, FCC action on these and other key priorities cannot occur until after the president nominates and the Senate confirms a fifth commissioner for the open position at the agency, giving Democrats the 3–2 advantage they would need to successfully advance many crucial matters.

Free Press Vice President of Policy and General Counsel Matt Wood made the following statement:

“We’re grateful that President Biden remains committed to promoting broadband competition and protecting the open internet, and the steps suggested in the executive order are necessary but not yet a done deal.

“The executive order is important, but the processes and personnel to actually move ahead on these priorities are not in place yet. Right now the FCC is deadlocked at two Democratic and two Republican votes; the agency needs a fifth commissioner to fully function. And the broadband-infrastructure bill under negotiation now in the Senate needs to set the country up for success, too, by providing robust and flexible funding for people who have broadband available to them today but cannot afford it without support.

“The FCC needs to reverse the damage done by the Trump administration, which presided over rising prices and declining investment in broadband while pretending that a do-nothing deregulatory approach would solve these problems.

“The agency must return to its proper authority in Title II, using all its available tools to bring more competitive choice to the wired-broadband market especially. While it’s clear and undeniable that broadband prices are on the rise, the FCC needs better data on what individuals are actually paying each month, and it needs to prevent abusive practices and price gouging.

“Reclassifying broadband as a Title II service is the only way to give internet users the legal protections they need to access an open and affordable internet. Title II provides the foundation for popular Net Neutrality safeguards, and also gives the agency the authority to promote competition, encourage better prices and ensure that vital programs like Lifeline can support broadband too.

“When the Trump FCC abandoned the proper legal framework and policies in 2017, people of every political stripe overwhelmingly opposed that repeal. When we finally have a full and functioning FCC dedicated to promoting the public interest again, the agency can get the job done — taking the kinds of steps outlined in today’s executive order and more.”


Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what’s actually happening in their communities.

'Infuriating Disappointment': Biden DHS Ramping Up Deportations to Haiti

"It is unconscionable for the Biden administration to resume deportation flights to Haiti, despite the country's ongoing political, economic, and environmental disasters."

Jessica Corbett ·

Architect of Texas Abortion Ban Takes Aim at LGBTQ+ Rights While Urging Reversal of Roe

"Make no mistake, the goal is to force extreme, outdated, religious-driven values on all of us through the courts."

Jessica Corbett ·

Ahead of Canadian Election, Bernie Sanders and Rashida Tlaib Endorse NDP

"Bernie, you have fought courageously for public healthcare, affordable medication, making the rich pay their fair share, and tackling the climate crisis," said party leader Jagmeet Singh. "We're doing the same here."

Jessica Corbett ·

US Urged to End Drone Strikes After Pentagon Says Killing 10 Afghan Civilians Was 'Horrible Mistake'

"That was not a 'mistake,'" said journalist Anand Giridharadas. "War crimes are not oopsies."

Brett Wilkins ·

40+ NYC Activists Arrested for Protests Against Banks Fueling Climate Emergency

"We're sending a message loud and clear that the little action that politicians and greenwashing CEOs have taken so far does not begin to deal with the magnitude of this crisis."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo