Editor in Chief
- Jan 5, 2011
We knew it would be coming soon. The FCC had their final meeting regarding the Net Neutrality debate. As the FCC Director Tom Wheeler shared in his proposal, the FCC will now classify the Internet under the Title II classification. This basically categorizes the Internet like a utility and allows the FCC to keep ISPs from blocking or slowing down traffic on wired and wireless networks. It also bans ISPs from charging content providers differently for any type of paid priority "fast lanes," even in the case of network congestion.
This classification will be applied to both wired and wireless broadband networks to prevent ISPs from favoring bits of data over each other. Here's a quote with a few more details regarding the resulting furor over the official announcement,
But the FCC's move to apply Title II to broadband has been viewed by cable operators, wireless providers and phone companies as a "nuclear option," with potentially devastating fallout from unintended consequences.
These companies argue that applying outdated regulation to the broadband industry will stifle innovation by hurting investment opportunities in networks. It could also allow the government to impose new taxes and tariffs, which would increase consumer bills. And they say it could even allow the government to force network operators to share their infrastructure with competitors.
Wheeler has said these fears are overblown. The agency is ignoring aspects of the Title II regulation that would apply most of the onerous requirements.
He said critics have painted his proposal as "a secret plan to regulate the Internet."
His response to that? "Nonsense. This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech. They both stand for the same concept: openness." ~ CNET
These new rules will be published in the Federal Register within the next few weeks.