It began April 24 when the Wall Street Journal posted a new proposal from the F.C.C. of Net Neutrality rules that essentially gave a higher paid Internet Service Provider (ISP) a faster track on the Internet highway to stream content. The uproar that reached a crescendo over the week-end has F.C.C. chairman Tom Wheeler offering up a revised proposal for vote this Thursday at the F.C.C. meeting, posted The Wall Street Journal.
Now, the F.C.C. chairman states that the proposal for rules regulating the broadband Internet would not allow Web traffic to be divided between fast and slow. It became a great concern last week that the non-profit groups, start-ups in program providing content and other groups that would be unable to pay higher fees to be a part of the exclusive club would be sent down to a slow stream of content on the Internet.
The fear was that the big box companies like Disney, Google or Netflix will pay Internet service providers as a Verizon or Comcast higher fees for the fast lane. Consumers will get their "Houses of Cards" on Netflix from the fast lane which was bought at a higher rate fee. Google has been politically smart and supportive of Net Neutrality and opposed segregation due to fee class.
The new language by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is in process to be circulated and quickly eliminate criticism. In the new draft, Mr. Wheeler is proceeding with the new proposal that 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.
That means simply certain non-profit groups, such as medical content service video will not be at a disadvantage. It also means that outlandish pricing from an ISP, such as a Comcast Corp., will not offer priority deals based on payment that other companies cannot compete in financial terms. Over 100 smaller companies complained last week of the segregation approach that was about to occur this Thursday at the F.C.C. meeting.
Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the Free Press public interest group, has been very vocal throughout this situation. “He needs to abandon the flimsy and failed legal approach of his predecessors and reclassify Internet service providers as the common carriers they are, explained Aaron about Wheeler, "If preventing fast and slow lanes on the Internet is the goal, reclassification is the way forward."