February 26, 2015
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to ‘yes’ for tougher net neutrality regulations for online traffic.
The proposal was put forward by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and it prohibits broadband service providers from charging websites for faster internet. It also means that the FCC has more regulatory power over Internet providers, thanks to the reclassification of broadband as a utility. For example, Verizon cannot charge Netflix more money for faster internet connection because it wants to struck a deal with Amazon.
“We are cutting away that red tape consistent with Congress proposal to ‘promote competition’ in broadband” said Wheeler. “We too often lose sight that these issues have a human face. Residents and local business have suffer.”
For us consumers, this means:
- No Blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
- No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
- No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration — in other words, no ‘fast lanes.’ This rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their affiliates.”
This proposal received support from tech companies like Netflix, Twitter, Mozilla and Etsy.
“We’ve been outspent, out-lobbied. We were going up against the second-biggest corporate lobby in D.C., and it looks like we’ve won,” said Dave Steer, director of advocacy for the Mozilla Foundation, the nonprofit technology foundation that runs Firefox, a popular Web browser, referring to the cable companies in a statement to The New York Times. “A year ago today, we did not think we would be in this spot.”
Internet service providers say heavy-handed regulation of the Internet will diminish their profitability and crush investment to expand and speed up Internet access.
Watch John Oliver’s take on net neutrality, which spurred public outrage and encourage the FCC to adopt new rules:
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