Chairman Tom Wheeler publishes post on Wired, says ” I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC.”
Today, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed that report, via a column published on Wired. In the column, Wheeler states very directly that he is “proposing that the FCC use its Title II authority to implement and enforce open internet protections.”
The key paragraph states:
“…I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC. 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.
While Wheeler was initially opposed to broadband reclassification, he reversed course after President Obama made his own thoughts on net neutrality clear, and the public weighted in on the FCC’s website very aggressively — to the tune of over four million comments.
But Wheeler also referenced open networks of the past, including how it was the FCC who forced AT&T to open its phone line network to all other phone companies in the 1960s. This open network, says Wheeler, is how the early, phone line-based Internet network grew so rapidly — there was no restriction for home and educational modems when they started coming online.
The decision made by Wheeler is probably only the beginning. With politicians weighing in, and the likelihood of a lawsuit filed by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (the cable industry’s lobbying/interest group), this decision is going to be a long process, one way or another.