Skip to main content

Trump is against net neutrality, and Republicans agree with him

net neutrality in jeopardy trump administration fcc tom wheeler 2
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Net neutrality could be on the chopping block. The principle that any internet service provider must permit access to any content regardless of source, net neutrality may be threatened by president-elect Donald Trump’s new administration. Before the election, Trump called net neutrality a “top-down power grab,” using it as a prime example when he promised to “reform the entire regulatory code” in order to “eliminate our most intrusive regulations.” No one really knows if those words were just campaign talk or if as President Trump will push to dismantle the policy, according to The Washington Post, but the signs point to net neutrality coming to an end.

Odds are that Trump, along with an as-yet-unnamed new FCC head, to replace Tom Wheeler (pictured above) and an approving Republican-controlled Congress, will make net neutrality an early target. The current net neutrality regulations may be altered or reversed or the incoming administration may find ways to work around them. In the minds of some who object to unfettered internet service, net neutrality needs to go solely because any and all federal regulations, especially newer ones, are bad for a free market, constitute overreaching, and are unnecessarily complex. Most arguments against the open internet that net neutrality ensures are based on financial, political, or philosophical objections.

Without net neutrality, internet service providers (ISPs) could freely control the amount of bandwidth allotted to content providers. Rather than allow consumers free and equal access to all websites, with controlled access Time Warner Cable, Comcast, AT&T, and other ISPs could vary the download speed of specific websites, demand payment from high traffic, high-bandwidth content sites — Hello, Netflix, and free porn, for example — and even block sites. Net neutrality prohibits those restrictive practices.

The FCC’s concern was that network operators would have unfair control of content sites and, by extension, control over what sites consumers could and could not access. Many areas of the country are able to access the internet through only one or two providers, giving those ISPs a monopoly or duopoly over what has become the lifeblood communications medium. The FCC and net neutrality proponents viewed the regulations as anti-competitive. When the FCC passed the net neutrality regulations along with the consumer privacy rules they encompass, there was strong opposition from Republicans.

After last week’s elections, Republicans will control both houses of Congress and will be able to send laws to and receive policy from a Republican White House. Donald Trump is likely to appoint an FCC head with similar negative net neutrality views. Conservatives in Congress are expected to leap at the first chance to get rid of net neutrality. The Washington Post quoted Senator Ted Cruz referring to net neutrality as “Obamacare for the Internet.”

Editors' Recommendations

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Commerce teams. Bruce uses smart devices…
How to block an email address in Gmail
A person expressing angry emotion at a computer.

Email is a powerful tool in the modern world. It’s used not only for professional correspondence but also for a variety of other purposes, including messages from your school or university, keeping in touch with distant friends or family, sending digital files, or just generally keeping track of your online accounts and purchases. But the ease of sending email, and the fact that many people have more than one email address, means your inbox(es) can quickly fill with spam.

While you can unsubscribe from mailing lists through Google, you might still receive unwanted emails. Gmail users who want to shut out this noise can do so with just a few clicks. Here’s how to block an email address in Gmail.

Read more
JPEG vs. PNG: When and why to use one format over the other
A person using Adobe Lightroom CC on an iMac.

In digital imaging, two image formats prevail above all else: JPEG (or JPG) and PNG.

At first glance, a single image shown in both formats might seem identical, but if you look closely enough and dig into the data, there is quite a difference between them. One format isn't always better than the other, as each is designed to be used in specific circumstances based on your needs for image quality, file size, and more. Here's what you need to know about both formats to make the most of their strengths and weaknesses.
What is the JPEG format?
Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group -- the team that developed the format -- JPEG has become the standard compressed format in digital photography and online image sharing due to its careful balance of file size and image quality.

Read more
Is there a Walmart Plus free trial? Get a month of free delivery
Walmart logo.

Take a moment and think about how often you shop at your local Walmart. Is it weekly? Daily? If either of those is the case, it might be time to upgrade your shopping experience. The Walmart Plus free trial is your chance to check out what the retail giant has to offer. Walmart Plus is basically Amazon Prime for Walmart. You get free shipping on most orders, early access to deals and new product drops (like PS5 restocks), the best grocery delivery, and more. If Walmart is your go-to option for the best smart home devices or the best tech products in general, you should get a membership. If you want to test out the service, you can sign up for a free trial. We have all the information you need right here.
Is there a Walmart Plus free trial?
There is a Walmart Plus free trial available, and it’s one of the best free trials we’ve seen in terms of how many great features and conveniences you’re able to access. This is really a reflection of how great the Walmart Plus service is, as the Walmart Plus free trial is essentially a 30-day experience of what it would be like to be a paid Walmart Plus subscriber. A Walmart Plus membership can help you save over $1,300 per year, so taking advantage of the 30-day free trial is a great way to get in there and see what those savings will look like. And if grocery delivery is what you're really after, an alternative you might consider is the Instacart free trial -- they have more than one program to try!

As part of a Walmart Plus free trial, you’ll get free shipping with no minimum order, so even small orders will qualify for free shipping. You’ll get fresh groceries and more with no delivery fees, and all at the same low in-store prices Walmart shoppers are used to. Walmart Plus members, and Walmart Plus free trial members, get exclusive access to special promotions and events, as well as a savings of up to 10 cents per gallon on fuel. A new addition to the perks of being a Walmart Plus member is free access to Paramount Plus, a top-notch streaming service with more than 40,000 TV episodes and movies. All of this is accessible for 30 days through a Walmart Plus free trial, and once those 30 days are up, Walmart Plus is just $12.95 per month or $98 annually.

Read more