FCC Will Try to Save Net Neutrality

Feds unveil rough guidelines, will hear from the public
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2014 2:10 PM CST
FCC chief Tom Wheeler arrives on Capitol Hill in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – When a federal court struck down rules governing how the FCC regulates web traffic last month, critics mourned the death of net neutrality and worried that providers would be able to slow or block traffic at will. Today, the FCC promised to rewrite its Open Internet rules to make sure that doesn't happen, reports the New York Times. In a statement, FCC chief Tom Wheeler said the agency would not appeal the ruling, but would instead revise its rules so they comply with it, reports the Washington Post.

Or as the Verge puts it, the FCC is "taking the shard of hope" the judge gave it "and digging deep." Specifically, the agency apparently will take up the judge on his suggestion to use Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act to regulate providers. (That's just what some analysts had predicted after the ruling.) Wheeler issued a set of principles today but stopped short of specifics. After public input, the proposed new rules should be ready by the summer. This, however, is "unlikely to prevent much comfort to those alarmed by the specter of Internet giants favoring certain websites over others, or forcing sites like Netflix and Google to pay extra to guarantee fast delivery speeds," writes Jeff John Roberts at GigaOm. "This is because the rule-making process is slow and convoluted, and most broadband providers will be free to do what they like in the meantime."

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