Tom Wheeler Revising His Net Neutrality Plans... But Not Actually Fixing Them
from the keep-pushing dept
So it's good to see Wheeler doing some last minute revising -- but it appears that he's still trying to thread the needle with some "middle ground" approaches, in which he allows for some forms of paid prioritization. As multiple people have pointed out, if you do that, it's no longer a net neutrality proposal:
In the new draft, Mr. Wheeler is sticking to the same basic approach but will include language that would make clear that the FCC will scrutinize the deals to make sure that the broadband providers don't unfairly put nonpaying companies' content at a disadvantage, according to an agency official.So it appears that his new plan is to more explicitly put the different plans out for comment, without actually really endorsing anything, and letting AT&T and Comcast's lobbyists ratchet up the rhetoric war. What he appears to be proposing is a useless "third way" option, which everyone will hate, while letting everyone fight about the other options. In other words: it's more of the same from the FCC.
The official said the draft would also seek comment on whether such agreements, called "paid prioritization," should be banned outright, and look to prohibit the big broadband companies, such as Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc., from doing deals with some content companies on terms that they aren't offering to others.
Mr. Wheeler's language will also invite comments on whether broadband Internet service should be considered a public utility, which would subject it to greater regulation. The FCC has so far not reclassified broadband as a utility, and providers have fiercely opposed such a move, saying it would cause innovation and investment to collapse