FCC won’t allow Internet ‘slow lane’

LOS ANGELES — The nation’s top telecommunications regulator defended his latest proposal to protect an open Internet, warning cable companies that manipulating data traffic on their networks for profit would not be tolerated.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler told The Cable Show on Wednesday that the so-called net neutrality rules he’s proposed won’t allow Internet service providers to push most users onto a “slow lane” so others who pay for priority access can have superior service.

“Prioritizing some traffic by forcing the rest of the traffic into a congested lane won’t be permitted under any proposed open Internet rule,” he said. “If someone acts to divide the Internet between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,’ we will use every power at our disposal to stop it.”

Wheeler’s comments come after he proposed rules last week that would replace the FCC’s open Internet order from 2010, a measure which was struck down by a federal appeals court in January.

The rules are not expected to be made public before a May 15 FCC meeting to discuss them. Following a public comment period, a commission vote on the rules is likely to occur sometime in the summer.

While the proposed rules would allow for paid priority access, Wheeler said the focus on the so-called “fast lane” ignored that non-priority traffic would have to be “sufficiently robust to enable consumers to access the content, services and applications they demand.”

He also reiterated that “all options are on the table” if the rules don’t achieve the goal of fair and open access to the Internet, including his option to define Internet service providers as “common carriers” like utility companies, which would subject them to harsher regulatory scrutiny.

“As chairman of the FCC, I do not intend to allow innovation to be strangled by the manipulation of the most important network of our time, the Internet,” he said.

More in Herald Business Journal

Teddy, an English bulldog, models Zentek Clothing’s heat regulating dog jacket. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Everett clothing company keeps your dog cool and stylish

Zentek uses space-age fabrics to moderate the temperature of pets and now humans.

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

Boeing raises dividend 20%, continues stock buyback program

The manufacturer said it has repurchased $9.2 billion worth of its shares this year.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Merger would make Providence part of health care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

Hospital companies merge as insurers encroach on their turf

An anticipated deal between Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension is only the latest.

DaVita to sell off medical groups including The Everett Clinic

Another round of health care consolidation means The Everett Clinic could soon get new ownership.

Engine trouble hits Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliners

A Rolls-Royce engine was shut down and was afterward found to be seriously damaged.

Washington, Amazon sue company over seller training programs

Braintree is accused of using deceptive ads promising information on how to make money on Amazon.

Providence said to be in talks for merger with Ascension

The two Catholic health organizations have been exploring joining forces, sources say.

Most Read