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May 13, 2014

FCC Listens to Public Feedback, Changes Net Neutrality Proposal

Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler is indeed revising the agency’s new Net neutrality rules after receiving 35,000 comments from the public — the majority of which condemned the proposed changes.

An agency official has confirmed a report by the Wall Street Journal that Wheeler will announce safeguards so broadband providers will not be able to implement a “fast lane” for streaming video providers willing to shell out extra cash.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

Wheeler, who is a Democrat, was also influenced by the two other Democrats on the five-person FCC panel expressing concern about the proposed plan, according to a report from The Associated Press.

“The new draft clearly reflects public input the commission has received,” the FCC official said in a statement to AP. “The draft is explicit that the goal is to find the best approach to ensure the Internet remains open and prevent any practices that threaten it.”

The revision to the FCC’s originally proposed plan 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 as well as on if Internet providers should be treated as utilities. If treated as utility providers, the FCC would have more regulatory power over them.

The commission will hold a preliminary vote on the revised rules Thursday before they are submitted for public feedback.

The FCC’s goal is to have the rules in place by the end of the year.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.