FCC Proposes New Net Neutrality Approach

In the wake of a judge explaining the FCC’s ability to regulate broadband services for Net neutrality, many have feared that over-the-top (OTT) services, like VoIP services, would be throttled by ISPs looking to beat down competition. But now the FCC is proposing new measures to prevent such things happening.

In a statement, chairman Tom Wheeler said that the FCC will propose new rules for Internet services that will meet U.S. legal requirements for preventing improper blocking of and discrimination in traffic. Indeed Wheeler said that it was incumbent upon the FCC that it took a lead in ensuring genuine transparency in how Internet service providers manage traffic, and enhancing competition.

Wheeler cited the case of Verizon vs. FCC in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which invited the Commission to act to preserve a free and open Internet. Preserving the Internet as an open platform for innovation and expression, while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace, is an important responsibility of the agency, Wheeler added.

Wheeler proposes that new rules enforce and enhance the Open Internet Order’s transparency rule, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals and fulfils the goals of the “no blocking” and non-discrimination rules.

Referencing the issues of the quality of some online video sites being diminished, Wheeler added: “Major Internet service providers have indicated that they will continue to honor the safeguards articulated in the 2010 Open Internet Order. That’s the right and responsible thing to do, and we take them up on their commitment—which will continue to provide protection for the open Internet until new rules are put in place.”