United States Regulators an Open Internet FCC chair sides with president - to issue order for net to be regulated as a utility
Tom Wheeler, chair of the US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has sided with US President Barak Obama and will issue a proposal to his fellow FCC commissioners this month to change the status of the Internet in this country. The net is now regulated by the FCC as an information service; under Wheeler’s proposal it will change and be regulated as a utility, a telecommunications service, under Title II of the Communications Act.
As a result of this reclassification, in the future the FCC will not allow there to be special fast lanes for content delivery on the net. In addition, all content on the net is to be treated equally. Also, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) as well as cable and telecommunications companies will be forbidden from blocking net traffic, slowing it or in other ways granting net content any special status.
According to a report in The New York Times: “Wheeler will advocate a light-touch approach to Title II, they say, shunning the more intrusive aspects of utility-style regulation, like meddling in pricing decisions. He may also suggest putting wireless data services under Title II and adding regulations for companies that manage the backbone of the Internet. The proposal is expected to be submitted to the agency’s commissioners [immediately]. Although the F.C.C. is not expected to release a copy of the plan, the contents are almost certain to leak out. A vote on the proposal by the full commission is scheduled for Feb. 26. … The proposal is Mr. Wheeler’s latest attempt to find a way to write open Internet rules that are politically palatable and that will stand up to legal scrutiny.”