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May 12, 2014

Criticism Convinces FCC to Tighten Net Neutrality Plan

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After weeks of criticism for his Net neutrality plan, Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler is revising his agency’s stance.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Wheeler will this week be announcing safeguards so broadband providers will not be able to implement a “fast lane” for streaming video providers willing to fork over enough cash.

The revision is expected to include language that enables the FCC to ensure the traffic of non-paying customers is not affected. The agency is also seeking comment on if such “paid prioritization” should be forbidden.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

The FCC’s revised plan comes on the heels of many of the biggest names in the industry calling it a “grave threat to the Internet.”

In a letter to the agency last week, nearly 150 companies — which include Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter and Yahoo — said the proposed rules would enable phone and cable Internet service providers “to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and to impose new tolls on them.”

““Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination, the Commission’s rules should protect users and Internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent,” the letter stated. “The rules should provide certainty to all market participants and keep the costs of regulation low. Such rules are essential for the future of the Internet.”

Wheeler until recently, vigorously defended the proposal, saying critics simply had a “misinformed interpretation” of its proposition.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.