FCC votes to start formal consideration of net neutrality proposal
A Democrat who took over in November, Wheeler triggered outrage among public interest groups, online activists and many liberals with a plan that would for the first time allow the possibility of so-called pay-for-priority deals.
“Personally, I don’t like the idea that the Internet can be divided into haves and have-nots, and I will work to see that doesn’t happen,” Wheeler said.
“I will not allow the asset of an open Internet to be compromised,” Wheeler said.
He and other FCC officials stressed that Wednesday’s vote only started a formal, four-month public comment period and no rules were adopted.
They both publicly thanked him for the changes, which included asking whether pay-for-priority deals should be banned outright and if the FCC should subject broadband providers to stricter utility-like regulations.
She had called last week for a one-month delay in Wednesday’s vote in response to the sharp public outcry in recent weeks to Wheeler’s proposal, which critics have said would allow broadband providers to create paid fast lanes on the Internet.
“So I support network neutrality. But I believe the process that got us to this rule-making today is flawed. I would have preferred a delay. I think we moved too fast to be fair.”
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