Rhetoric heats up ahead of net-neutrality vote


USA TODAY: The Federal Communication Commission’s vote on Internet regulations is expected Thursday.

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USA TODAY: The Federal Communication Commission’s vote on Internet regulations is expected Thursday.

Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., is among Republicans who have criticized Wheeler’s plan and increasingly made it a partisan issue by suggesting the FCC chairman has kowtowed to President Obama, who three months ago called for strong net-neutrality regulations. “The closer we get to the FCC rubber stamping President Obama’s Internet grab, the more disturbing it becomes,” Walden has said. “Consumers, innovators and job creators all stand to lose from this misguided approach.”

The FCC has been considering new rules for net neutrality, or open Internet, because the agency’s 2010 rules were tossed out by a federal court last year. The regulations would give the FCC authority to ensure that Internet service providers (ISPs) give consumers access to all legal content and applications on an equal basis, without favoring or blocking some sources. Also prohibited: content providers paying ISPs for “fast lanes” for speedier, preferential treatment.

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