FCC Chairman Takes Stand, Proposes Legislation on Net Neutrality
OPEN INTERNET: After over four million public comments, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed what he calls “the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC.” Currently, cable, phone, and wireless are classified as “broadband Internet access service.” Wheeler’s proposal would reclassify them as a telecommunications service, which the FCC has jurisdiction over, and would ban paid prioritization, as well as blocking and throttling of Internet content.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, one of two Republicans on the commission, has strongly criticized Wheeler’s proposal as enabling the government to “micromanage the Internet.” Pai told The New York Times that stringent net neutrality regulations would be “a solution in search of a problem.” The five member commission, which typically votes along party lines, will vote on the proposal at an open meeting on February 26.
Over at Wired, Wheeler offers a personal story illustrating the importance of net neutrality for the open market.
Under Chairman Wheeler, the FCC has taken other steps to provide internet access to students, including an increase of funding for the E-Rate program, which funds initiatives in libraries and schools, from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion.