The net neutrality debate is poised to extend well into 2015, as this crucial matter is neither on the FCC’s agenda on Friday, nor in its December session, FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart said. Apparently, FCC’s Chairman Tom Wheeler is “caught” between the wishes of the White House and the needs of Internet service providers.
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The FCC received well over 4 million comments on net neutrality this year, with many people and Internet companies being against Wheeler proposal of “fast lane” Internet access. On the other side, companies like Comcast and other ISPs would like to be able to charge companies that offer various services that require fast Internet access extra fees.
The fear from consumers and tech companies is that such fees would eventually be passed on to customers, who will have to pay even more money for certain services. Furthermore, the “fast lane” proposal could significantly limit the ability of new companies to compete against well-established Internet services which can already afford the fast access fees ISPs would impose.
President Barack Obama asked the FCC to reclassify ISPs as utilities under Title II of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, and Wheeler said the Title II approach is still “on the table.” However, U.S. News says the FCC Chairman is “reportedly still torn on whether to go that route.”
At this time, it’s not clear when the fate of net neutrality will be decided.