In January, the future looked bright for net neutrality. After a surprise victory in the Georgia special elections, Democrats gained a majority in the Senate, opening the door for aggressive new Federal Communications Commission leadership that could reinstate net neutrality by regulatory order. There was even talk of passing a bill that would enshrine net neutrality in law.
In the three months since then, not much has happened. Preoccupied with the pandemic, the Biden White House has focused on shepherding through its relief and rebuilding efforts, a pair of massive spending bills that require every bit of political capital Democrats can spare. As a result, even basic measures like appointing a new FCC chair have taken a back seat to more urgent matters. But that may finally be changing, with rumblings from the FCC and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) poised to introduce a net neutrality bill in Congress in the months to come.
In a new Verge Live event on Wednesday, we’ll dive into the net neutrality fight and the broader progressive effort to upgrade America’s internet. With so much of Washington focused on infrastructure, there’s never been a better time to take stock of the broadband gap and the various ways the government can make sure America stays online.
After a few opening words from Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel, we’ll have a conversation with Markey, talking through the path forward for net neutrality in this Congress. After that, we’ll talk to Georgetown fellow and Public Knowledge co-founder Gigi Sohn, who will get into what the next four years might hold for broadband access and broadband regulation.
Just like our March event, the whole thing will be virtual, but you’ll be able to drop questions in a chat room if there’s anything you want to know. We won’t be posting the full video publicly, so the only way to see it is to sign up here. We hope to see you there!