FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: 'The Internet Must Remain Open'
On Thursday afternoon, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that "Internet companies must act in ‘public interest' when providing mobile connection," according to the AP.
The FCC voted in favor of so-called net neutrality rules, by a 3-2 vote (along party lines). The new regulation aims at leveling the playing field in the Internet space.
"No one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said.
He continued: "The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules...the action that we take today is about the protect of internet openness."
Going forward, the agency will substantially increase its oversight of U.S.' high-speed broadband providers, regulating them like a public utility. It will now be illegal for companies like Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) to slow down content traveling through their networks, or establishing "fast lanes" for those paying an extra fee.
"And in an unprecedented move, the FCC could apply the rules to wireless carriers such as T-Mobile (NYSE: TMUS) and Sprint (NYSE: S) -- a nod to the rapid rise of smartphones and the mobile Internet," The Washington Post informs.
"We cannot possibly imagine what is going to happen next on the Internet. We want to encourage that sort of innovation...the Internet must remain open, we will protect the Internet," Wheeler added.
Image credit: Greg Elin, Wikimedia
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