FCC chairman proposes new net neutrality rules following Verizon decision

The FCC chairman defended that the communications regulator is on the side of creators and innovators, not telco giants.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Following a firestorm that erupted last month in the wake of the Verizon v. FCC decision, Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler has published a proposal he asserted will preserve the Internet as "an open platform for innovation and expression."

Examples of new rules being proposed to the Commission include drafting  sufficient legal rationales against blocking or data roaming discrimination, soliciting public input about protecting Internet freedom, and holding Internet service providers accountable to the 2010 Open Internet Order.

Wheeler also advised against any further judicial action in connection with the Verizon decision.

Wheeler's complete proposal with several more rule recommendations is available online now.

To recall, Verizon Wireless won a court challenge to net neutrality rules, leading the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. to send the rules back to the FCC in January.

This immediately sparked a debate about the future of the Internet as the move essentially means broadband companies would be able to charge tech companies, such as Netflix or Hulu, more money for fast connections needed to deliver their services.

It's up to the FCC now to rewrite the rules, and Wheeler asserted that an open Internet prohibiting such charges " encourages broadband investment and that its absence could ultimately inhibit broadband deployment."

Recalling a recent talk to a group of startup entrepreneurs and programmers in Los Angeles, Wheeler defended that the FCC is on the side of creators, not telecommunications giants.

Their companies may succeed or they may fail depending on whether they are truly creative and innovative. But they and other innovators cannot be judged on their own merits if they are unfairly prevented from harnessing the full power of the Internet, which would harm the virtuous cycle of innovation that has benefitted [sic] consumers, edge providers, and broadband networks. This is why the FCC’s exercise of its authority to protect an open Internet is important.

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