FCC chairman bans some 'fast lanes' in net neutrality
Responding to waves of criticism, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is revising his net neutrality rule proposals to include a ban on certain types of “fast lanes” for content companies that are willing to pay Internet service providers for the upgrade.
The revision, which seeks comments from the agency's other commissioners, was circulated on Monday as they get ready to vote Thursday on the proposals.
Wheeler's latest revision doesn't entirely ban Internet fast lanes and will leave room for some deals, including public-interest cases such as a health care company sending electrocardiography results.
But unlike his initial proposal last month, Wheeler is seeking to specifically ban certain types of fast lanes, including prioritization given by ISPs to subsidiaries that make and stream content, according to an FCC official who wasn't authorized to talk about the revisions publicly before the vote. The FCC would retain powers to review any prioritization deals that may pose public harm.
Wheeler is open to applying some “common carrier” rules that regulate telephone companies, which would result in more stringent oversight of the ISPs in commercial transactions.
On Jan. 15, a federal appeals court threw out the FCC's net neutrality rules — called Open Internet — removing any legal barriers that would stop Internet service providers from interfering with or discriminating against any data sent through their pipes.
Last month, Wheeler presented a new draft of the rules. But they included provisions that would allow fast lanes to consumers' homes that content providers can buy from ISPs as long as the opportunities are available to others on “commercially reasonable” terms.
Netflix's recent maneuvers to improve the streaming speeds of its movies and shows have underscored the complexities behind the business of delivering content from the source to “the last mile,” which connects the ISPs and their consumers. Netflix said it “reluctantly” agreed to pay to have Comcast and Verizon connect directly to Netflix's servers — rather than going through third-party Internet content distributors — and urged the FCC to tighten rules on such deals.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Damaged Jersey shore pier to be rebuilt
- Supreme Court allows Obamacare’s Medicare costs board to stand
- Military leaders leery of letting in transgenders
- GOP budget proposal guts federal spending, health care
- Experts skeptical of N.D.’s new oil train safety checks
- Mysteries of dark matter come to light in Science study
- A revolt is growing as more people refuse to pay back student loans
- Appalachian miners wiped out by coal glut they can’t reverse
- Benghazi panel formally requests private interview with Hillary
- Indiana governor wants changes to religious-objection law