FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s controversial net neutrality proposal showed signs of fraying Wednesday, taking hits from a fellow Democratic commissioner and the nation’s leading tech companies. After weeks of backlash, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said a scheduled May 15 vote on the plan should be delayed at least a month, while Google, Facebook and other Web giants slammed the proposal as a “grave threat to the Internet.”
During a speech in Los Angeles, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler again defends his stance on Net neutrality and tries to reassure the public that he wants to keep the Internet open for all.
Under the commission’s proposal set for a vote next month, broadcasters, who currently pay nothing to ISPs to make their streaming services available to broadband subscribers, may wind up having to pay ISPs for higher-quality connections. But, at least for now, the NAB thinks it’s best to remain on the sidelines of the controversial policy battle.
The FCC is considering new net neutrality rules that would allow Internet providers to charge content companies like Neflix for faster speed.
Chairman Tom Wheeler will try to revive the FCC’s net neutrality regulations with a view that a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in DC last month upheld the agency’s right to set rules for the Internet, even as it vacated much of the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Order.
Depending on what column, blog or press report you read, the decision either put an end to the Internet as we know it or it freed the Internet from what could be shackling rules that the FCC passed in a split decision at the end of 2010. In the end, you probably should ignore the extremes and figure the result of the court’s decision lies somewhere in between. Here’s what you need to know
After Tuesday’s decision striking down the FCC’s netneutrality rules, the agency’s new chairman Tom Wheeler “now has the unfortunate task of dealing with strategic errors made by his predecessor. Restoring the agency’s long-standing authority over broadband telecommunications is much simpler than it appears. Wheeler needs only to reaffirm that, for Internet firms that want to send information to customers, broadband is a ‘telecommunications service,’ meaning that the F.C.C. has the authority to regulate it. He has both the time and the votes to do so,” writes Columbia Law School’s Tim Wu.
The FCC relinquished its authority to regulate Internet traffic when it defined broadband as an information service as opposed to a phone-like common carrier service, the U.S. Court of Appeals in DC ruled this morning.
D.C.’s political bookies are giving the full survival of the FCC’s net neutrality rules long odds. In a packed Washington courtroom Monday morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard arguments in Verizon v. FCC, the landmark case challenging the FCC’s authority to regulate the Internet. The panel of three judges were so interested in the case that they extended the oral arguments from the traditional 45 minutes to two hours, still only a short time for a roomful of attorneys to determine the fate of Internet regulation.
Whether or not the FCC has the authority to regulate the Internet comes back in the spotlight on Monday when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in Verizon v. FCC. How the court decides could have profound implications for the Internet: whether ISPs like cable systems or telecommunications companies like Verizon will be subject to the FCC’s so-called “open Internet” rules that prohibit services from slowing down or blocking legal content.
Former FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps: The CBS-Time Warner Cable stand-off “goes beyond programming to the functionality of the Internet itself. CBS is blacking out access to CBS.com for Time Warner Cable broadband customers nationwide — even those outside the affected markets and even those who are not cable television subscribers! CBS is perpetrating an audacious violation of the FCC Open Internet (“net neutrality”) rules. These rules guarantee consumer access to lawful content. They are designed to prevent just this sort of corporate censorship. Someone here needs to stand up for consumers.”
Challenges to the FCC rules will be heard by the appeals court in D.C. … and Verizon is licking its lips.
Controversial net neutrality rules designed by the FCC to prevent internet providers from imposing higher fees on subscribers that stream video or play online games will go into effect on Nov. 20. However, the new regulations could be derailed by lawsuits before they ever see the light of day.
The FCC’s controversial new “net neutrality” rules for the Internet adopted late last year have gotten White House clearance to be published in the Federal Register — a move that is expected to ignite legal challenges.
In a victory for the FCC’s ability to regulate the Internet, a D.C. court today dismissed Verizon’s appeal of the commission’s net neutrality rules.
House Republicans approved a spending-bill amendment Thursday night that would block the FCC from enacting its sweeping net neutrality regulations.
The FCC struck back Monday at Verizon and MetroPCS’ challenge to its new net neutrality guidelines. In several motions filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the FCC asked the court to dismiss both companies’ complaints.
Federal regulators aren’t expected to decide this week on whether to approve a merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, as they weigh placing conditions on Internet access, as well as other requirements, according to sources familiar with the reviews.
Voting 3-2 along partisan lines, the agency adopted rules aimed at prohibiting cable companies from favoring some Internet users or discriminating against others. “For the first time, we’ll have enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who crafted and pushed for the rules.
The rules, expected to be approved today, would prohibit phone and cable companies from abusing their control over broadband connections to discriminate against rival content or services, such as Internet phone calls or online video, or play favorites with Web traffic.
Last night, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski poked fun at his reputation, fair or not, for indecision; for his lawyerly evasion of questions; his aborted attempt at Title II reclassification; and other criticisms leveled by both industry and the public interest community. But he had plenty of deprecation left over for everybody else, including NCTA’s Kyle McSlarrow, Verizon, Free Press and even his predecessors in the FCC’s big chair.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski late Tuesday night circulated a network neutrality item to the other commissioners for a planned vote at a Dec. 21 meeting, according to a source close to one of those commissioners. That was confirmed by an agenda notice issued by the FCC shortly after midnight.
The FCC today will vote on proposals to free up more airwaves for commercial wireless use in a meeting that could be overshadowed if plans to act on contentious Internet traffic rules are circulated. For more on the impact on television stations, click here.