FCC to Propose Regulating Internet Service as a Utility for Stronger Net Neutrality Rules

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Tom Wheeler plans to submit a proposal that would allow the agency to regulate Internet service much like a public utility, reports The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The move would let the FCC introduce strong rules that could prevent Internet providers from creating "fast lanes" letting certain sites pay for faster speeds.

It is expected that the proposal will reclassify high-speed Internet service as a telecommunications service, instead of an information service, under Title II of the Communications Act, according to industry analysts, lobbyists and former F.C.C. staff members.

Net neutrality, which is the principle that all data on the Internet should be treated equally, has been a major topic of discussion in recent months as the FCC in 2014 approved commercially reasonable "Open Internet" net neutrality rules that could potentially allow companies to pay for better service.

In November, President Obama urged the FCC to instead implement strong rules to protect net neutrality, following a four tenet path that would prevent ISPs from blocking or throttling Internet sites. Obama's proposal also called for the prevention of paid prioritization, keeping companies from shelling out money for faster speeds, and it suggested greater transparency between ISPs and their customers.

More than any other invention of our time, the Internet has unlocked possibilities we could just barely imagine a generation ago. And here's a big reason we've seen such incredible growth and innovation: Most Internet providers have treated Internet traffic equally. That's a principle known as "net neutrality" -- and it says that an entrepreneur's fledgling company should have the same chance to succeed as established corporations, and that access to a high school student's blog shouldn't be unfairly slowed down to make way for advertisers with more money.

Obama's call for stronger net neutrality rules caused FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to reverse course from his original plan that did allow for paid prioritization, and he is said to be aiming to submit the new proposal to FCC commissioners on Thursday. Wheeler may, however, aim for a "light-touch approach" to the plan, avoiding meddling in pricing decisions. A vote on the proposal is expected on February 26.

Apple has been working on developing its own content delivery network and has been pursuing deals with various ISPs to ensure the efficient delivery of content to customers, but it's possible these types of deals will no longer be allowed if the FCC's newest proposal is implemented.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Top Rated Comments

jonblatho Avatar
123 months ago
Wonderful.

Cue the outrage over communism or whatever.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blacktape242 Avatar
123 months ago
"if you like you health plan you can keep it."

i don't believe anything that spews from his mouth....
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dookieman Avatar
123 months ago
That would be amazing if it actually happens.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blacktape242 Avatar
123 months ago
If you're going to go down that road, here we go.

My health insurance plan has not changed. It has not changed for the past 7 years. But if you'd like to discuss this, start another thread, and we'll definitely discuss it.

BL.

awww good for you, I'm sure you are happy. There isn't anything to discuss really.

Mine went up, my whole families went up, my sisters went up and a lot of self employed people i know went up. Again tell me whats to discuss? exactly....
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dimwhit Avatar
123 months ago
While I like the idea, I fear that we'll not only face higher rates, but that the gov't will start taxing internet service like they do phone lines, which will add more to our bills.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nt5672 Avatar
123 months ago
Anybody that trusts government at this point seems to me to be a bit shy of any reality genes.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)