We’ll have to wait until February to see what the proposal will entail, but this is a welcome development for advocates who have been working to ensure all websites will be given equal treatment from all providers and a boon to musicians and artists.
Late last year Wheeler appeared to try to distance himself from the position taken by President Obama, who has called for strict net neutrality regulations. But in addressing the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Wheeler said “it became obvious that ‘commercially reasonable’ could be interpreted as what is reasonable for ISPs, not what’s reasonable for consumers or innovators,” the LA Times reports. “That’s the wrong question and the wrong answer. Because the issue here is how do we make sure that consumers and innovators have access to open networks.”
Without spelling out exactly what the rules will say, Wheeler indicated that the FCC will adopt regulations “that will say no blocking, no throttling, [no] paid prioritization, all that list of issues, and that there is a yardstick against which behavior should be measured. And that yardstick is ‘just and reasonable’,” he said, according to the Times.
Among others, Craig Aaron, Free Press president, cheered the development.
“Chairman Wheeler appears to have heard the demands of the millions of Internet users who have called for real net neutrality protections,” Aaron says in a statement released Wednesday. “The FCC’s past decisions to put its oversight authority on ice resulted in net neutrality being under constant threat. Wheeler now realizes that it’s best to simply follow the laws Congress wrote and ignore the bogus claims of the biggest phone and cable companies and their well-financed front groups.”
All eyes will remain focused on news from the FCC on Feb. 26, the commission’s first meeting of the year.
Our previous net neutrality coverage can be read here, here, here and here.
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