The FCC is getting drawing closer to the deadline that will dictate the future of the Internet and determine whether the service will be listed as a utility or if it will remain regulation free. However, those close to the situation – and even some members of the FCC are thinking that the ruling on Net Neutrality will rule in reclassification, and regulation that hasn’t ever been seen in the Internet landscape previously. The move to classify the Internet as a Title II service, much like electricity, or cable, is one that has drawn a lot of criticism from those activists and large corporations who feel that their rights will be violated with the regulation.
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This change has been one that has been pushed harshly by our current administration, and most specifically by President Obama, who even mentioned as much in his State of the Union Address. Right now though, those within the space are compelled to believe that the chairman of the FCC is going to be taking a slightly different approach than many have been led to believe thus far. Tom Wheeler will likely be taking a very reserved approach to reclassifying Internet as a Title II service. It’s also been said that the FCC will not get involved with pricing decisions and things of that nature – in an effort to ensure that the Internet can still operate relatively freely from the rest of the more construed utility industries.
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Interestingly, this has come with conversation around the fact that the FCC might also be considering a move to put wireless data service under Title II, as well. This would completely change the way people interact with data at all ends, and really prevent any one site, or one content provider from creating a “fast lane,” with any provider. That being said, all of this is still all just rumor – right up until the actual announcement is made, which will come to the end of the month. The Net Neutrality debate is one that is going to continue long after the actual reclassification occurs. The real cost and the real ramifications of reclassifying the Internet could actually have bellowing impacts on the Internet community as a whole.