Feeds

FCC boss Wheeler talks tough on net neutrality with Title II threat

Says he 'won't hesitate' to slap down telcos that flout Open Internet rules

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Just days after being accused of gutting net neutrality provisions in the US, the head of the US Federal Communications Commission is vowing to take any measures necessary to prevent a multi-tiered internet.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Tuesday that the commission would continue to enforce an open internet policy, even if that meant using the Title II provision of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, making it subject to stronger regulations.

"I do not believe we should leave the market unprotected for multiple more years while lawyers for the biggest corporate players tie the FCC’s protections up in court," Wheeler said in a blog post.

"Notwithstanding this, all regulatory options remain on the table. If the proposal before us now turns out to be insufficient or if we observe anyone taking advantage of the rule, I won’t hesitate to use Title II."

The comments comes in the wake of a proposal by Wheeler to ease the commission's stance on net neutrality by allowing for certain cases where "commercially reasonable" arrangements could be made to allow certain companies such as streaming video providers to enjoy preferred network access.

The proposal was widely panned as a concession by the FCC that would gut net neutrality in the wake of a decision against the commission in its case with Verizon. Critics argued that Wheeler, a former CTIA exec, had turned in favor of companies who sought to end net neutrality protection.

Wheeler, however, maintains that the new plan would seek to maintain a basic foundation of net neutrality and that the "commercially reasonable" designation would not be allowed for deals that would harm consumers, create exclusive network services or harm competition and free speech.

"If broadband providers would seek to use the commercially reasonable test as justification of activities in which users can’t effectively use that pathway, or the capabilities of it are degraded, I suggest they save their breath since such conduct would be a violation of the Open Internet rules we propose," Wheeler said. "If anyone acts to degrade the service for all for the benefit of a few, I intend to use every available power to stop it."

The FCC commissioners are set to vote on the proposed rules on May 15, after which a public comment window will follow before a final decision will be made. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?