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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Amid protests, FCC proposes new 'net neutrality' rules

Posted by on May. 15, 2014 at 12:59 PM
  • 8 Replies
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. telecommunications regulators on Thursday formally proposed new "net neutrality" rules that may let Internet service providers charge content companies for faster and more reliable delivery of their traffic to users.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has come under fire from consumer advocates and technology companies for proposing to allow some "commercially reasonable" deals in which content companies could pay broadband providers to prioritize traffic on their networks.

Wheeler's two fellow Democrats at the FCC concurred with him

for a 3-2 vote to advance the proposal and begin formally collecting public comment, though they expressed misgivings about the plan.

"I believe the process that got us to this rulemaking today is flawed. I would have preferred a delay. I think we moved too fast to be fair," said Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

"The real call to action begins after the vote today," said Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. "This is your opportunity to formally make your points on the record. You have the ear of the entire FCC. The eyes of the world are on all of us."

Critics worry the rules would create "fast lanes" for companies that pay up and slower traffic for others, although Wheeler has pledged to prevent "acts to divide the Internet between 'haves' and 'have nots.'"

The FCC's proposal tentatively concludes that some pay-for-priority deals may be allowed, but asks whether "some or all" such deals should be banned and how to ensure paid prioritization does not relegate any traffic to "slow lanes."

"I will not allow the national asset of an open Internet to be compromised. I understand this issue in my bones," said Wheeler, formerly a private equity investor and cable industry lobbyist.

"Simply put, when a consumer buys a specified bandwidth, it is commercially unreasonable and thus a violation of this proposal to deny them the full connectivity and the full benefits that connection enables."

More than 100 activists protested at the FCC, with signs reading "Liberate the Internet" and "Keep the Internet Free." four onlookers were escorted out of the meeting room for shouting protests.

Consumer advocates want the FCC to reclassify Internet providers as utilities, like telephone companies, rather than as the less-regulated information services they are now.

Opponents have told Wheeler that stricter regulations would throw the industry into legal limbo, discourage investment in network infrastructure and still not prevent pay-for-priority deals.

Numerous technology companies, including Google Inc and Facebook Inc, have spoken out against allowing pay-for-priority, although they have not called for reclassification.
by on May. 15, 2014 at 12:59 PM
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Replies (1-8):
Citygirlk
by Gold Member on May. 15, 2014 at 1:08 PM
Bump.
Citygirlk
by Gold Member on May. 15, 2014 at 1:09 PM
The end of the Internet as we know it.
Autumn07
by Member on May. 15, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Is it over then? I did call Tom Wheeler's office.. first time I ever called Washington!

Quoting Citygirlk: The end of the Internet as we know it.


UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 15, 2014 at 1:31 PM
3 moms liked this

People better take action on this. I hope everyone understands this will have a phenomenal impact on the internet as it exists today.

When you give corporations power and control it's almost impossible to take it back.

jcrew6
by Platinum Member on May. 15, 2014 at 1:35 PM

I remember before he was confirmed MANY didn't like Obama's selection of Wheeler because of his cronyism with Big Corp Lobbyists.  Yet, here we are...

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 15, 2014 at 1:54 PM

"I will not allow the national asset of an open Internet to be compromised. I understand this issue in my bones," said Wheeler, formerly a private equity investor and cable industry lobbyist.

There once was a fox whose got a job guarding a hen house. It worked out really well for the fox...not so well for the hens.

Healthystart30
by Silver Member on May. 15, 2014 at 1:57 PM
People's voices do matter! We really need to be angry about this, regardless of what side we are on! This guy needs to take his bag! Moron!
yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on May. 15, 2014 at 2:46 PM
Neutrality by giving some priority?
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