FCC moves forward on Internet 'Fast Lane'2014-05-16 10:15 by Daniela
Tags: FCC, Net Neutrality
The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 Thursday to move forward on proposed changes that could allow Internet Service Providers to give faster service to companies willing and able to pay for the privilege. It was a sharply partisan vote, with the three Democratic commissioners voting in favor and the two Republican appointees dissenting.
Network neutrality advocates protested outside the agency's headquarters and briefly disrupted the meeting as they argued for utility-like regulation of Internet service to ensure freedom of speech online. They were worried that the plan would mark the end of net neutrality, the principle that says that all content online should be treated equally by Internet service providers.
Despite public criticism, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler defended his proposal, saying the FCC would find many of the possible broadband provider practices feared by net neutrality advocates unreasonable. If a broadband provider charges a service like Netflix a fee to access the Internet connection for which a customer has already paid, that would be an unreasonable practice prohibited by the FCC, he said.
However, the decision is not final yet - the proposal is now open for public comment for the next four months, and could be changed before a final vote to implement it.
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