The FCC’s Changes to Net Neutrality Won’t Please Critics
The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote on a revised draft of the agency’s net neutrality rules later this week; the rules are expected to allow for Internet service providers to offer faster speeds to content providers for a price. Advocates for net neutrality, including the content providers that make up some of the most powerful technology companies in the country, have called out the FCC for backing down on the guidelines that keep the Internet a free and open space for everyone.
At the end of last month, reports started coming out that the FCC was caving on the issue of net neutrality and that the new draft of the laws basically undermined everything the organization and the idea of an open Internet stood for. Reportedly, the FCC’s new draft will allow content providers to buy faster Internet speeds if such deals are made on “commercially reasonable” terms. Such terms would be determined by the FCC on a case-by-case basis.
According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will circulate some revisions to the new proposal’s language on Monday that make it more explicit that the agency won’t allow Internet service providers to discriminate by forcing certain traffic to be delivered at slower speeds.
Though the proposed changes haven’t been made public, a source within the FCC spoke to the Journal, saying that the new draft will remain more or less the same, but clearer language will be included about the FCC’s role in overseeing the deals to make sure that ISPs aren’t unfairly throttling the content of companies that don’t pay for faster broadband. Advocates for net neutrality believe clearer language is needed, as one concern is that the principles of net neutrality will only be strongly enforced while Wheeler is in the one in charge of monitoring what “commercially reasonable” terms are.