FCC Chairman Under Bipartisan Fire for Net Neutrality Plan

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler is facing criticism from the House of Representatives over the FCC's Net neutrality plan that would create Internet fast lanes. Representatives on both sides of the political spectrum are critiquing Wheeler's proposal and many of their concerns echo the concerns raised by organizations and individual citizens.

Net neutrality, the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally by Internet service providers (ISPs), has been a sore spot in the electronics industry for several years. In the past, the FCC attempted to introduce a set of Net neutrality laws that would help to prevent ISPs from obstructing Internet traffic, however an appeals court struck down those rules.

Without the open Internet laws to protect the industry, the FCC has been forced to come up with a new plan that many people fear will hurt the Internet. The proposal, at a bare minimum, would alter the way that the telecommunications industry is treated by the government by adding new regulations. Members of the Republican party are not in favor of additional regulations, while some Democrats contend that the proposal does not go far enough.

Paid Prioritization

Blocking legal content on the Internet is not currently allowed nor will it be allowed if Wheeler's plan is ultimately accepted by the FCC, but it will be possible for Internet traffic to travel at different speeds. Wheeler's plan allows for paid prioritization which means that if a content provider wants its content to reach subscribers faster, it can pay ISPs extra.

The action of paying extra is something that House Republicans have no issue with, but Democrats view as a major issue that could lead to a broken Internet system in the United States. "Paid prioritization divides the Internet into haves and have-nots, and it will entrench the big companies at...

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