The FCC’s Chairman Tom Wheeler has defended the proposed set of rules that are supposed to reinstate net neutrality in the United States.The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that everyone is talking about is a mere proposal at this point, Wheeler states, and there are more decisions to be made until a final form is adopted.
He also says that all options are still on the table, including the reclassification of the ISPs into common carriers, which would give them the same statute as regular utilities and therefore would have to follow the rules set down by the FCC.
In a blog post published recently, Wheeler takes things a step further and addresses one key issue that has made everyone explode – the fact that ISPs would be allowed to create fast lanes, which basically means that content providers such as Netflix and YouTube would have the opportunity to buy themselves a place on the Internet fast lane.
This idea in general is considered to be against the very core of what Net Neutrality stands for – equality for all. Furthermore, even if companies were the only ones to have to pay extra, this would eventually translate into higher costs for consumers as well, both from ISPs and from the various companies that choose this path.
However, the FCC’s chairman stands by the idea. “There has been a great deal of discussion about how our proposal to follow the court’s roadmap will result in a so-called ‘fast lane’ and Internet ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots.’ This misses the point. The proposed rule is built to ensure that everyone has access to an Internet that is sufficiently robust to enable consumers to access the content, services and applications they demand, as well as an Internet that offers innovators and edge providers the ability to offer new products and services,” Wheeler said.
What he misses out on is the fact that smaller companies and content creators would instantly be at a disadvantage if big companies are given access to the “fast lane,” which would create an imbalance in the market.
“The focus of this proposal is on maintaining a broadly available, fast and robust Internet as a platform for economic growth, innovation, competition, free expression, and broadband investment and deployment. Our goal is rules that will encourage broadband providers to continually upgrade service to all,” he states.