BY SUSAN FERRECHIO for Washington Examiner
The Federal Communications Commission will vote Feb. 26 on reclassifying the Internet as a public utility, a move that would introduce an unprecedented layer of government regulation to the broadband Internet industry that has the full backing of the Obama administration.
“I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC,” FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler announced in an op-ed published in Wired Magazine.
Wheeler’s move was expected and comes at the urging of President Obama, who said government regulation is necessary to ensure “a free and open Internet.”
If the five-member commission endorses Wheeler’s recommendation it would give the FCC the same regulatory power it wields over the big phone companies and other utilities.
Wheeler, in his op-ed, said giving the FCC additional authority over broadband Internet will allow the commission to ensure net neutrality by imposing strict rules against “throttling” or purposely slowing down service, as well as the practice of blocking certain websites while giving preference to others. It would also give the FCC the authority to end paid prioritization, a practice that allows some content providers to pay extra to avoid network congestion by “jumping in line.”
“My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission,” Wheeler wrote in the op ed.
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Thomas Wheeler rolls out ‘strongest’ Internet regs in FCC history | WashingtonExaminer.com.