After a report earlier this week surfaced with the rumor that the FCC would outline its aggressive proposal for net neutrality, it has been made official today.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has put together a plan to reclassify the Internet, both wired and mobile, as a utility. The proposal came via an op-ed on Wired.
The most critical piece of Wheeler’s statement, as outlined by The Verge, is the following:
“Using this authority, I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC. 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. My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission. All of this can be accomplished while encouraging investment in broadband networks. To preserve incentives for broadband operators to invest in their networks, my proposal will modernize Title II, tailoring it for the 21st century, in order to provide returns necessary to construct competitive networks. For example, there will be no rate regulation, no tariffs, no last-mile unbundling. Over the last 21 years, the wireless industry has invested almost $300 billion under similar rules, proving that modernized Title II regulation can encourage investment and competition.”
The biggest news out of all of this has to be the application of net neutrality over mobile broadband as well. As mentioned in the article linked above, this move will prevent carriers from dictating what you can and can’t do with your data (think blocking hotspot features, video calling; etc), as well as prevent them from throttling speeds, or given “fast lanes” to bigger companies that want to prevent competitors from having a fair chance in their industry.
Internet Service Providers will not be happy with this official announcement. We should be expecting AT&T, Verizon, and the likes, to comment on this proposal any minute now, and their ridiculous defensive positions will illustrate just how much they would hate giving up the amount of control they currently possess.
Check out the rest of the op-ed in the source link below.