Tags: FCC | Web | net | neutrality

FCC Head Plans to Heed Obama Blueprint to Ban Web Fast Lanes

Wednesday, 07 Jan 2015 06:33 PM

The Federal Communications Commission’s proposal for open-Internet rules will align with a blueprint President Barack Obama offered last month for strong regulation to guarantee Web traffic is treated equally, the head of the agency said.

“We’re both pulling in the same direction,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “We’re going to propose rules that say no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization.”

Obama in November called for “the strongest possible rules” to regulate Internet service, including a ban on so-called fast lanes. Wheeler’s proposal will be formally submitted by Feb. 5, in time for the FCC to vote on the plan at its Feb. 26 meeting in Washington.

“We’re extremely pleased at the direction the FCC is headed and look forward to very strong rules,” Gene Kimmelman, president of the Washington-based policy group Public Knowledge, said in an interview after Wheeler’s remarks.

While the FCC is an independent agency, three of its five members, including Wheeler, are Democrats, like the president.

The FCC is setting rules to guarantee Web traffic is treated fairly by Internet service providers led by Comcast Corp., AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. The companies have opposed Obama’s call for strong regulation, saying it’s not needed to maintain a thriving Web and could bring on price regulation.

Using the legal authority asked by the president would be a “radical reversal” from current policy, Ed McFadden, a Verizon spokesman, said in an e-mailed message after Wheeler’s comments.

Obama has said his blueprint would ensure service providers treat Web traffic equally, a concept known as net neutrality.

In May, Wheeler proposed allowing fast lanes, and he has backed using less-sweeping authority than the president is seeking. Wheeler was noncommittal after Obama’s Nov. 10 statement, saying the independent agency would incorporate the president’s view into the record.

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The Federal Communications Commission's proposal for open-Internet rules will align with a blueprint President Barack Obama offered last month for strong regulation to guarantee Web traffic is treated equally, the head of the agency said."We're both pulling in the same...
FCC, Web, net, neutrality
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2015-33-07
Wednesday, 07 Jan 2015 06:33 PM
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