In an op-ed featured on Wired.com, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler explained his plan to keep the Internet free and equal for users across the country.
Mr. Wheeler put the FCC’s role in regulating market rules into historical perspective by pointing out that if the agency hadn’t required “open access for network equipment” in the 1960s, the Internet would not have grown nearly as fast as it has since the mid-1990’s.
Before the FCC made the rule, telecommunications giant AT&T had a vice-grip on telephone network lines, and outside companies were able to piggy-back off of AT&T’s services to create some of the technology which spurred the Internet’s growth at the end of the 20th century.
Now the Internet is run through broadband networks, so the challenge for the FCC is to ensure equal access for consumers using this new technology. Chairman Wheeler is proposing that the commission use its “Title II authority” to maintain the status quo.
Specifically, Wheeler posits that, “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.”
He went on to state the principles of the American Internet: “…fast, fair and open . . . (t)he proposal I present to the commission will ensure the internet remains open, now and in the future for all Americans.”
[Wired] [Image by Cagle Cartoons]