How could the 2016 election impact Net Neutrality?

Last week I wrote about the latest Net Neutrality news – US Court of Appeals leaned toward Net Neutrality when they called broadband a utility. Some folks were happy. Some were not. Few folks thought this was the sound of the fat lady singing. Brookings recently published an article that draws out a few potential scenarios for what could happen next. The perspective I found most interesting was – how will the election this fall have an impact…

Electoral outcomes in November could change legislative prospects or further foreclose them, depending on how many House and Senate seats each party holds in the next Congress. Here, the best scenario for opponents of the new status quo would be the election of more Republicans to Congress and Donald Trump to the presidency. Unlike President Obama, President Trump might sign legislation modifying net neutrality rather than veto it with no possibility of having that veto overridden. President Trump could also appoint a new FCC Chairman, creating a Republican majority that could nullify the DC Circuit’s net neutrality decision.

But if Hillary Clinton emerges victorious instead, any legislative or FCC reversal becomes highly unlikely, since Secretary Clinton is on record as favoring the net neutrality approach of the current FCC. In turn, her election could raise the stakes for a final Supreme Court decision, which could occur two or three years from now if the appellate process runs its course and the Court returns to nine sitting justices.

This entry was posted in Elections, FCC, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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