FCC to vote on net neutrality next month
by Carol Thompson
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote on the controversial net neutrality rules next month, however, if the FCC reclassifies broadband as a regulated utility, Congress will likely attempt to push back.
The five-member Federal Communications Commission will consider then a proposal from Chairman Tom Wheeler on so-called net neutrality rules, agency spokeswoman Kim Hart said Friday. She was confirming reports in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal on the planned timing of the vote, according to the Huffington Post.
President Barack Obama has asked the FCC to put Internet service providers under the same rules as those imposed on telephone companies 80 years ago. The aim is to protect net neutrality, the concept that everyone with an Internet connection should have equal access to all legal content online, including video, music, email, photos, social networks and maps.
The outcome could impact the price consumers pay for online content.
Nearly a year ago, a U.S. appeals court threw out a large portion of net neutrality rules the FCC approved in late 2010. The court ruled that the FCC’s rules came too close to common carrier regulations when the commission didn’t take the step of reclassifying broadband providers as regulated utilities. The court, however, pointed to a couple if sections of the Telecommunications Act that the FCC could use to pass net neutrality regulations, according to Computer World.
After launching a net neutrality proceeding in early 2014, the FCC has received nearly four million public comments about proposed regulations.
The vote is expected Feb. 26.
Image: Flickr/Stephen D. Melkisethian