• FCC Expected to Propose Regulating Internet Service as a Utility

    Tom Wheeler, the US Federal Communications Commission Chairman, is expecting to issue a proposal this week that would see the agency classify internet access as a telecommunications utility. This move would also include reclassification for data services from wireless carriers as well. Wheeler won’t seek to interfere in the pricing according to The New York Times but will model his new proposal on the “light touch” regulations adopted for mobile voice service in 1993.

    This report comes just days after the commission updated its definition of the word “broadband” to include connections with download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second. For those of you who didn’t know, classifying internet service providers as “common carriers’ under Title II of the Communications Act would give the FCC legal authority to impose more strict regulations such as a prohibition on the creation of the so-called “fast lanes” which are at the center of the net neutrality debate. Furthermore, common carriers aren’t allowed to discriminate against any customers who are willing to pay a reasonable fee.

    This is good news for some and bad for others. Companies like Apple and Google have been clamoring for reclassification for years. The process was given a kick start when President Obama called for such an action late last year. Obama’s plans rests on four pillars which consist of: no blocking, no throttling, increased transparency and no paid prioritization. What this means on a larger level is that if a customer wants access to legal content, they shouldn’t be impeded from accessing it in any way. At the time, Obama said the following regarding the matter:

    So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services. This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone — not just one or two companies.
    As of right now, Wheeler is expected to submit his proposal to the full commission by this upcoming Thursday, February 5th. A vote for the matter is scheduled to take place for February 26th. We’ll have to wait to see what happens.

    Source: The New York Times via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: FCC Expected to Propose Regulating Internet Service as a Utility started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Hunter926's Avatar
      Hunter926 -
      Yes, yes, and yes!
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
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