Report: FCC To Hold On to Obama’s Proposal of Net Neutrality
If I were to jot down a list of inventions that essentially set this generation apart from our ancestors, the Internet will indeed top the list. It has opened up possibilities and ideas which were alien to men a couple decades ago. Seeing this rapid growth, it was of utmost importance that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) hold on to a principle dubbed ‘Net Neutrality’ – a principle which promotes treating Internet traffic equally.
One of the most articulate supporters of ‘Net Neutrality’ is none other than President Barack Obama who strongly believes, “there should be no gatekeepers between you and your favorite online sites and services.”
As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started to design new rules on “how to safeguard competition and user choice,” President Obama laid out a plan to ensure ‘Net Neutrality’ and preserve the power of open Internet to connect the world – yet the ultimate decision lies with the U.S. FCC.
According to a recent report, the independent agency is considering the proposal put forth by President Obama and might take initiatives to keep the Internet open. The votes on finalized rules are scheduled to take place by the end of next month.
The proposal put forth by President Obama last year suggested implementation of the “strongest possible rules” and even put a ban on the Internet lanes (namely, Fast-Lanes and Slow-Lanes) to provide a more balanced experience to all users. This eventually gained Obama a widespread support of small Internet start-ups, public Interest organizations, and about 100,000 people who signed an online petition for an open Internet.
Reportedly, several FCC officials, working under Chairman Tom Wheeler, are asking questions which clearly indicate that the agency is seriously considering Obama’s proposal.
On the other hand, Comcast Corporation which is U.S. fastest home ISP submitted some documents against Obama’s proposal. Comcast’s response is hardly surprising at all. In case FCC indeed implements the rules proposed by President Obama, the result would drastically affect the prices a common consumer pays for news, entertainment, and general Internet surfing.
It must be noted that the idea of open Internet is one of the fundamental principles of its origins. Back in January 2014, a federal appeals court rejected FCC’s general guidelines and forced the agency to come up with new rules which led to this scenario. The ruling court stated that FCC possesses the power to regulate ISPs’ treatment of Internet traffic, but fails to do so.
Now it seems like the independent agency is finally going to adapt a more consumer-friendly proposal, but nothing is concrete as of this instant. What’s your take on this? Let your voice heard below!