The FCC's ‘Net Neutrality’ plan that is getting closer to being proposed would likely reclassify broadband, and bring stricter regulation to the industry.
The FCC is perusing action that would aim to please everyone involved in the broadband war that has been many years in the making. The FCC’s Chairman is working to determine where broadband falls in the larger scheme, and working to determine what type of regulatory control can, and will be exerted on broadband providers.
Supporters of ‘Net Neutrality’ have long said that this action is well-overdue and that the internet should be regulated to the condition of ensuring that certain content providers cannot gain speed deals, that would allow their content to work more quickly. However, that is one of the issues that Chairman Tom Wheeler seems to be overlooking in his plan.
Though nothing is currently final, it’s nearly a foregone conclusion that whatever decision is made – it will be met by criticism of the broadband providers, and legal action which will inevitably delay the enacting of any plans that are approved. Any plans will also need to be approved by a vote. The five individuals on the commission will ultimately be the individuals to make this decision when push comes to shove.
Tom Wheeler and others have said that the goal is to create an internet where there are rules, and guidelines which will prevent providers from doing things like slowing down or even blocking certain content to customers.
The major move that seems to be taking place that is universally accepted on the side of ‘Net Neutrality” is the plan which would reclassify broadband, and even give the FCC the authority to block any arrangements that are made between content providers and broadband providers in an effort to maintain competition and trust within the industry. Rebuilding that trust is a part of the major roadblock that faces broadband service providers because so many already feel as though they’ve been cheated – with the amount of coverage these issues have been getting.
The plan though to reclassify the internet and preserve ‘Net Neutrality’ would come by classifying the Internet as a public utility. Currently, the situation is much different as it is currently classified as information services. In plain English, that means far less restriction, and a lot of grey area where many of those in favor of ‘Net Neutrality” believe that these providers are getting away with more than they should be able to.
The approach that the FCC is working on is said to be a “hybrid approach” that will aim to satisfy both sides.