With over 4 million net neutrality comments on the FCC’s website, consumers around the country are wondering if their voices are being heard. The answer, according to FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, is a resounding “yes.”
Wheeler’s op-ed is a solid read, as well as an insight into his mind and thought process, as he defends the use behind Title II in protecting net neutrality and open internet. At first, Wheeler admits to his nativity when it comes to ISPs and protecting their interests in a reasonable fashion:
“Originally, I believed the FCC could assure internet openness through a determination of “commercial reasonableness” under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.”
He eventually, however, came to his senses and realized it’s somewhat unreasonable to believe commercial interests would line up with consumer interests.
“I became concerned that this relatively new concept might, down the road, be interpreted to mean what is reasonable for commercial interests, not consumers.”Some proposed regulations noted in his op-ed include: no rate regulation, no tariffs, and no last-mile unbundling.”
Rate regulation and tariffs in Hungary caused mass protests for that exact reason and Wheeler, it seems, took notice. Interestingly enough, he made a point to include mobile internet as well.
Although, this is mainly just talk for the moment, it’s the best talk supporters of net neutrality have heard from the FCC and Wheeler. When the actual regulations come about, let’s hope it’s as strong as the rhetoric in his article: “The proposal I present to the commission will ensure the internet remains open, now and in the future, for all Americans.”
Lets hope so, Tom, lets hope so.
For more…Check out his op-ed about the future of net neutrality on wired.