Reports: FCC To Change 'Net Neutrality' Rules
April 23, 2014 at 3:43 PM (PT)
Multiple media sources are reporting that the FCC will circulate a proposal that will essentially end net neutrality as we now know it, by allowing broadband providers to charge Web firms for smoother and faster downloads to consumers.
The WASHINGTON POST reports that if the draft proposal isn't changed before it's voted on next month, consumer advocates will aggressively denounce the changes because they would give TIME WARNER CABLE, COMCAST, VERIZON too much power over the experience of Web users.
Looming questions: Will those broadcast and streaming media companies with the deepest pockets be shelling out more money than competitors to ensure that their content is being served at the fastest possible speeds? And, how much will this cost them?
Also problematic is the likelihood that the huge Web companies such as FACEBOOK and GOOGLE would enjoy an unfair advantage over start-ups that couldn't afford the cost of getting priority access into U.S. homes. A spokeswoman for FCC Chairman TOM WHEELER wouldn't comment on the proposal's specifics, only noting that they would be "consistent with the framework" WHEELER announced in FEBRUARY," when he wanted to create new "net neutrality" rules.
If the five-member commission approves the draft of the new net neutrality rules, the FCC will then receive public comments, after which final regulations will likely be made by the end of summer.