What’s next for Open Internet and tech companies?
In the latest chapter of the Net neutrality saga, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed to create “rules that will meet the court’s test for preventing improper blocking of and discrimination among Internet traffic, ensuring genuine transparency in how Internet service providers manage traffic, and enhancing competition.”
The FCC will not appeal last month’s Verizon v. FCC court ruling, nor do they intend to reclassify broadband companies or Internet service providers (ISPs) as telecommunications companies, as many have supported. But Wheeler said that the Commission is keeping the option of reclassification open.
Instead, Wheeler laid out a plan to seek public input and draft a new set of rules late this spring or early summer based on existing rules: Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In the meantime, the FCC will hold ISPs to their promise to honor the safeguards of the 2010 Open Internet order.
Major telecommunications companies don’t seem to be opposing the plan. And as the plan takes form in the coming months, we encourage technology companies to voice their opinions so the FCC has adequate support and knowledge to create meaningful rules.