FCC To Push For Reclassification Of Broadband Under Common Carriers
The FCC has a rough few months ahead with cable companies such as Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable that await favorable judgment on one end and U.S. consumers and advocates interested in net neutrality, broadband speed and cable.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, whatever the final judgment is, there is bound to be huge issue one way or the other.
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However, it looks like FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is pushing towards the reclassification of broadband, under the common carrier, similar to the way telephone companies operate, the report said.
The reclassification will force broadband companies to work together, achieve faster speeds and make sure no backroom deals happen. It could be the one thing to make competition viable again in the broadband industry, especially if the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is denied.
Verizon has already issued a statement, claiming if the FCC looks for reclassification, they will face "significant legal vulnerabilities", but Wheeler seems to be a changed man in the face of threats.
Any deals would go through the FCC and would eliminate the current climate, where Verizon, Comcast and other ISPs are able to bankroll Netflix to ensure higher speeds. These backroom deals will only get worse, if the FCC were to give broadband providers more power over the Internet.
Fast lanes appear to be dead in the new proposal, meaning Comcast and Verizon will not be able to establish priority queue for the customer or the developer. This was seen as one of the worst ideas put forward, as it had the ability to ruin companies who did not comply or who had a service in competition with a cable company's service.
The FCC has had hundreds of thousands of emails, comments and phone calls from citizens against the plans against net neutrality, and it is the consumer they are fighting for, not against. The new proposals might not go far enough for some, but they're a good start.