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Former FCC head debates new, sweeping net neutrality rules

by AirTalk®

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Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies before the Communications and Technology Subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 20, 2014. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

After a court case, an extended comment period, and politicization of the debate, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to issue a decision on net neutrality.

Whereas just a few months ago the FCC seemed poised to dismantle net neutrality (otherwise known as the principle that Internet Service Providers [ISPs] and those who regulate the Internet should treat all data and data sources equally), now the Commission appears to be headed in the opposite direction.

Today, FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler announced in "Wired" that he plans to use his “authority to implement and enforce open Internet protections.” Unlike the previous proposal to create a "fast lane" for providers who pay more that garnered significant criticism that it would tilt the Internet playing field, the new proposal will ban paid prioritization and regulate ISPs and telecommunications companies as public utilities, giving the FCC substantially more regulatory authority.

Should the FCC be able to regulate the Internet and its industry as a public utility? How will such a proposal affect you?


Michael Copps, a former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (2006-2011). He also served as Acting FCC Chairman in 2009

Jeffrey Eisenach, Director, Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy at the American Enterprise Institute 

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