FCC chair promises ‘strongest open internet protections ever proposed’

FORTUNE: Net neutrality was the focus of Tom Wheeler op-ed.

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FORTUNE: Net neutrality was the focus of Tom Wheeler op-ed.

“After more than a decade of debate and a record-setting proceeding that attracted nearly 4 million public comments, the time to settle the Net Neutrality question has arrived,” the FCC chair wrote in an op-ed published online by Wired. Wheeler promised he will submit a proposal this week for new FCC rules that would ban paid prioritization on both wired and mobile networks. The rules would ensure Internet service providers (ISPs) are prohibited from blocking any lawful Internet content or creating so-called Internet fast-lanes that allow certain companies and websites to pay for faster delivery of their content.

“The internet must be fast, fair and open,” Wheeler wrote. Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Wheeler planned to propose that the FCC reclassify high-speed Internet service as a telecommunications service, rather than an information service, under Title II of the Communications Act. Those reports noted that the FCC would likely vote on the proposed rules on February 26. Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that such a step would be necessary if the FCC wanted to treat ISPs more like public utilities, subjecting them to stricter regulation.

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