Consumers stand to benefit under a proposal, coming Monday, from the Federal Communications Commission that would mandate so-called net neutrality, forcing Internet service providers to treat all Web content equally and not restrict access to sites and services that take up more bandwidth. The Obama administration is siding with the likes of Google and Amazon, the Wall Street Journal reports—and against AT&T, Comcast and others.
Service providers wouldn’t be able to block services that could bog down networks—a prospect particularly troublesome for wireless carriers, which have limited bandwidth to begin with. Consumers could benefit from services currently unavailable—as with AT&T customers gaining access to Skype, the Internet-based phone service now blocked on AT&T’s cell network. A majority of FCC board members would have to support the plan—and three of the five are Democrats who back the net neutrality concept.