President Obama’s top telecom regulator, Tom Wheeler, told fellow FCC commissioners before the Christmas holiday that he intends to circulate a draft proposal internally next month with an eye toward approving the measure weeks later, said one official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the agency’s deliberations are ongoing.
It’s still unclear what rules Wheeler has in mind for Internet providers. Analysts and officials close to the agency say that momentum has been building recently for far more aggressive regulations than Wheeler had initially proposed. Advocates of strong net neutrality, including President Obama, have urged the FCC to begin regulating Internet service providers using the same law it uses to oversee telephone companies
On Jan. 14, 2014, a federal court of appeals struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order, which was designed to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or slowing users’ connections to online content. The court did not comment on the validity of these rules but simply said that the FCC had used the wrong legal foundation to justify them.
In response, on May 15 FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released flawed Internet rules that would let ISPs charge content companies for priority treatment — relegating all other content to a slower tier of service.
Wheeler’s plan would let telecom giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon pick winners and losers online and discriminate against online content and applications. And it would destroy the open Internet.