The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is attempting to try and regulate the Internet like current phone services.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told Wired Magazine that he plans to try and attempt this goal by placing Title II of the 1934 Communications Act on Internet services; this would prevent services from slowing down, speeding up, or blocking content.
Wheeler writes in the interview that, “I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC. My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission.”
What he essentially wants to accomplish by setting his new policy up is create an Internet community that is a neutral ground, where all providers are equal. He does not believe that certain services like Netflix should operate faster for certain providers based on paid agreements between each other. This would make content equally available to everyone.
Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee highly agrees with Wheeler’s plan and goes on to say, “Reclassifying the Internet as a utility equally accessible to all — is hugely popular with voters of all political stripes, who don’t want old corporations writing the rules.”
While Wheeler has his share of supporters, those like House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., state that Wheelers plan is extreme and that he is going to far by trying to create equality over such a large broadcasting system.
Wheeler overestimates the FCC’s authority to re-write our nation’s communications laws, a responsibility tasked to Congress, not the FCC, and ignores the fact that his net neutrality rules almost certainly will be stuck in courts for years over questions of their legality. “Americans don’t need bulky regulations to be applied to the diverse and competitive Internet marketplace.”
The FCC will vote over his proposal on February 26, meanwhile Wheeler is trying to gain as much support as he can, starting with attempting to gain the President’s vote.
Photo: Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
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