January 8, 2015
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, during an appearance at CES in Las Vegas this week, hinted that his Net neutrality may indeed reclassify broadband services as utilities.
The tough new plan, which he will present to the members of the commission on Feb. 5, follows the wishes of President Barack Obama, which he made clear in November when his plan was published on a special page on the White House’s website.
Although Wheeler declined to go into detail about his plan, it is clear it embraces Obama’s wish of reclassification, known as Title II.
Wheeler said that the FCC has been performed a “robust investigation” into what Title II will entail.
“There is a way to do Title II right,” Wheeler said, adding that the FCC agrees with Obama on “no blocking, no throttling of applications, no paid prioritization, and transparency.”
The FCC, during an open meeting Feb. 26, will cast their votes on Wheeler’s plan.
Republicans, who will have a majority in both the U.S. House and Senate by next month, are not in favor of Obama’s plan, which means a showdown is likely if the FCC votes to implement it.
Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. John Thune, is suspected to be actively crafting a bill to hamper any Net neutrality rules that would enforce public utility regulations, according to a Politico report.
Many Republicans have said federal regulation of the Internet is the wrong move.
Parties on both sides of the issue are likely to closely watch the February vote, virtually guaranteeing that the issue of Net neutrality may not be settled for some time.