Tags: Barack Obama | FCC | Internet | public utility | fast lanes

NYT: FCC to Propose Treating Internet Like Public Utility

NYT: FCC to Propose Treating Internet Like Public Utility
Federal Communication Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Monday, 02 February 2015 01:55 PM

Federal Communication Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is set to put forward a proposal this week to treat the Internet like a public utility, according to The New York Times.

The plan, which is expected to launch a new partisan political battle over the White House plans to guarantee net neutrality on the Web, would reclassify high-speed Internet as a telecommunications service instead of an information service, according to Times sources.

With President Barack Obama backing the measure, the change in classification would turn the commission into a kind of Internet watchdog.

The commission would have the authority to prevent content being blocked from the Web and to ban so-called "pay-to-play" fast lanes getting preferential treatment — a major theme of the net neutrality notion, the newspaper reported.

The proposal is expected to be sent to the agency’s commissioners by Thursday, and a vote on the proposal by the full commission is scheduled for Feb. 26.

According to the Times, Republicans in Congress support net neutrality legislation that prevents the blocking or slowing of content, and the creation of premium fast lanes for high-paying customers. But the GOP proposal also bars the FCC from issuing regulations to achieve those ideals.

Wheeler’s net neutrality plan is seen by critics as a soft way around adjusting the rules under Title II of the Communications Act by avoiding the "more intrusive aspects" of utility-style regulation, like getting involved in pricing decisions.

The Times said that Wheeler may also propose putting wireless data services under Title II and adding regulations for companies that manage the basic workings of the Internet, the New York paper reported.

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Federal Communication Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is set to put forward a proposal this week to treat the Internet like a public utility, according to The New York Times.
FCC, Internet, public utility, fast lanes
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2015-55-02
Monday, 02 February 2015 01:55 PM
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