Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed Wednesday he’s seeking strong net neutrality rules that regulate broadband service like a utility, matching a vision laid out by President Barack Obama and setting up a high-stakes standoff with the telecom industry and congressional Republicans.
The move, which Wheeler announced in an online op-ed in Wired magazine, is expected to meet heavy resistance from the GOP Congress and Internet-service providers, which warn it will lead to burdensome regulation and hinder investment. AT&T has already said it will challenge such rules in court.
Wheeler’s plan would prevent broadband providers from engaging in pay-for-play deals with companies for faster delivery of their content to consumers. It would also extend net neutrality rules to mobile devices. The full five-member commission is slated to vote on Wheeler’s plan on Feb. 26.
“I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC,” the chairman wrote. “These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. I propose to fully apply—for the first time ever—those bright-line rules to mobile broadband.”
We can only hope that the anticipated standoff with Republicans will actually happen. If there is a line in the sand to be drawn by this majority I can’t think of a better one than keeping the un-elected regulatory agencies in check. I would obviously prefer that they have their powers stripped but let’s take this one step at a time.
The Idiot King knows that he isn’t going to get any assists from Congress in the next couple of years so he is going to let the EPA and FCC run crazy, unleashing a regulatory zombie apocalypse on the American people. This battle in particular should be an easy fight for even the Republicans to get the messaging right. Not too many regular people have warm and fuzzy feelings about dealing with utilities. I waited ten days for the gas company to turn my gas on when I moved into my current home. I’ve got nothing nice to say about them.
Also, if you have been exasperated at any time with your mobile provider, imagine how much worse it will be with our heavy-handed overlords upping their regulatory stake in the process.