The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today voted in favor of advancing a hotly debated proposal that would allow for broadband providers to charge additional amounts towards companies that wish to offer 'priority access' to users. Opening the possibility of Internet service providers charging Web sites for higher-quality delivery of their content.
The proposal brought forth by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposal would allow internet service providers such as Comcast or Verizon to charge individual Web sites or services such as Netflix additional fees for the guarantee of higher bandwidth. Offering those companies tat do pay flawless service.
After weeks of public outcry over the proposal, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the agency would not allow for unfair, or "commercially unreasonable," business practices. He wouldn't accept, for instance, practices that leave a consumer with slower downloads of some Web sites than what the consumer paid for from their Internet service provider. Wheeler stated his proposal, would consider the slowing of broadband connections by providers to be unreasonable and prohibited.
"When a consumer buys specified capacity from a network provider, he or she is buying open capacity, not capacity where the network provider can prioritize for their own profit purposes," he said. "Simply put, when a consumer buys a specified bandwidth, it is commercially unreasonable, and thus a violation of this proposal, to deny them the full connectivity and the full benefits that connection enables."
The proposal is not a final rule, but the vote on Thursday is a significant step forward on a controversial idea that has invited fierce opposition from consumer advocates, Silicon Valley heavyweights, and Democratic lawmakers. The FCC will now open the proposal to a total 120 days of public comment. Final rules, aimed for the end of the year, could be rewritten after the agency reviews the public comments.
We highly suggest that the public get involved and voice their concerns! You can send your comments to the FCC via this page: http://www.fcc.gov/comments. You may also email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.