Skip to main content
  1. Tech
  2. Gadgets & Tech
  3. Tech Gear

FCC chairman hears criticism from both parties on Net neutrality

See also

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission chairman, Tom Wheeler, sat before various House members and received criticism from all ends of the spectrum on the proposed rules for governing the Internet as well as his middle-ground approach on Net neutrality.

Last week, Wheeler laid out his plan to replace 2010’s since-rejected Net neutrality regulations. His plan involves prohibiting Internet service providers from blocking legal content, slowing the speed of service below what has been paid for and prioritizing the delivery of their own content. He would also set up a watchdog group to monitor for such things.

Republican members criticized how far Wheeler’s plan goes, saying the growth of the Internet would be stifled by government regulations. Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) told Wheeler that so far, the Internet has flourished under a ‘light-touch’ approach and that regulations would in fact, be a bad move.

And on the other side, Democrats—though occasionally praising his plan—believe it doesn’t go far enough. They believe his regulations won’t be enough to stop Internet service providers from charging companies extra for high-speed delivery of their content, or an Internet fast lane, essentially. They believe that if ISPs are able to charge for high-speed service, it will divide out companies into big and corporate and small and startup, with the small start-ups ultimately failing due to lack of funds.

Wheeler acknowledged these comments and complaints as well as the protests that took place outside the FCC’s headquarters last week when Wheeler advanced his Net neutrality plan. He continued to assert that he believes there is but one Internet and there is no room for a fast lane or a slow lane. He said, “… When the consumer buys access to the Internet, they are buying access to the full Internet and that’s what our rules attempt to protect.”

The four-month comment period that is now open will allow officials as well as members of the public to ask questions such as, how do we make sure ISPs aren’t going to becoming the Internet’s gatekeepers? And: Should the Internet service be treated as a utility?

Advertisement

Don't Miss

  • Unity
    'Assassin's Creed Unity' preview: Ubisoft comes home to its urban origins
    Games Preview
  • Kindle
    The new 'Kindle Unlimited' program could cause legal troubles for Amazon.com
    Video
    Tech Buzz
  • Destiny
    The 'Destiny' beta: 7 things we absolutely love about Bungie's new franchise
    Games Feature
  • iOS Backdoors
    iOS backdoors: Hidden items found in 600 million devices, is Apple spying on us?
    Headlines
  • Far Cry
    'Far Cry 4' exclusive: Animals, avalanches, oxygen, side content and much more
    Games Interview
  • iPhone Handle
    A young inventor thinks all iPhones should come with one of these gadgets
    Video
    Headlines

Related Videos:

  • Attendees gather at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West center on June 2, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the annual WWDC which is typically a showcase for upcoming updates to Apple hardware and s
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518310091" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518310091&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Nielsen and Facebook partners to gather Mobile TV viewers information
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518249257" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518249257&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Apple and IBM Logo
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2zfqw8nhUwA?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>