The move will make net neutrality much easier to enforce, and make a whole lot of ISPs unhappy.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is setting the record straight over at Wired. Tomorrow, he says in a new op-ed there, the agency will officially introduce a proposal to make the Internet a public utility, which will give it stronger regulatory powers to protect net neutrality.
It’s a (tentative) victory for advocates of an open Internet with no preferential treatment for any one site or fast lanes for those who can afford to pay more. Wheeler says the new rules would “preserve the internet as an open platform for innovation and free expression.” But, unsurprisingly, internet service providers (ISPs) are digging in for a fight.
In his editorial, Wheeler argues that the web’s open infrastructure allowed the Internet to blossom in its early stages. He says the new laws will ban paid prioritization, where a company pays for preferential treatment over other websites on the network. It also prevents companies from throttling access to websites and web services, such as slowing down streaming speeds if Netflix refuses to pay extra.