It's game time for net neutrality. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is proposing new rules to protect the internet, recommending that telecom companies be treated like a public utility and thus overseen by the government. This is a blow to big cable and the push to create a tiered system of internet delivery.
Wheeler will circulate the new proposed rules this week. Today, he outlined his plan to use Title II as a baseline for protecting net neutrality:
Using this authority, I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC. These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. I propose to fully apply—for the first time ever—those bright-line rules to mobile broadband. My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone's permission.
This is a huge change from the previous plan Wheeler proposed for net neutrality, which did not reclassify broadband as a public utility. That (horrible) plan was roundly criticized for potentially killing net neutrality as we know it by allowing cable companies to develop "internet fast lanes."