FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Outlines His Plan for Net Neutrality, Will Propose Title II


In what many may have thought was an impossibility for the future of Net Neutrality even a few months ago, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced in an open letter that in order to keep a free and open Internet he will propose that the FCC enact their Title II authority “to implement and enforce open internet protections.”

In his letter, published on Wired.com, Wheeler recounted his days as president of a startup, NABU.  He lamented that while his home networking was significantly faster than the system that AOL President Steve Case was creating at the time, NABU was built on a system using cable television lines while AOL was built to transmit data over phone lines.  The problem was that the cable networks were closed, where the phone lines were open for anybody to plug in a modem.  Wheeler was sure to point out that the phone lines were open because of regulation from the FCC.

Wheeler then said what all consumers really wanted to hear:

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.

No paid prioritization, no blocking, no throttling… Fantastic!  Wheeler also outlined how the Title II provisions will be updated to better reflect the changing times, specifically stating how these rules will still encourage development and investment in broadband networks:

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.

All in all, this seems like a pretty good day for consumers, and if the big Internet providers are smart, they’ll start to adopt Google Fiber’s cheery attitude about Title II and Net Neutrality.

Mr. Wheeler’s full letter can (and should) be read at the source link below.

  Source: Wired
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