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

Bond sale reveals Paine Field terminal cost is about $40M

Propeller Airports, which is building on land leased from the county, raised the money in February.

Explosive decompression at 32,500 feet. What happens?

Expect a violent windstorm where the pressurized air inside the passenger cabin rushes out.

Will activism in high school hurt your college chances?

By Anna Helhoski / NerdWallet Students risked disciplinary action at nearly 3,000… Continue reading

How new tax rules on home-equity loans affect you

To deduct interest, the money must be used for the property that the loan is secured against.

Giant power storage ‘batteries’ show promise

The systems could reduce the impact of power outages, whether they’re caused by storms or hackers.

Scrambling to put school bus drivers behind the wheel

Districts are having a hard time staffing many of their routes.

Early 787 test plane is dismantled for reuse, recycling, or scrap

The first jet delivery was more than three years late and added billions of dollars to development costs.

61 companies will be at career fair Tuesday at Tulalip casino

Job seekers can check in early and pick up a booth map and job-seeker resources.

After air accidents, survivors grapple with flying again

Between 1983 and 2000, 95.7 percent of people involved in commercial airline accidents survived.

Most Read