Months after the Open Internet Order was largely struck down in court, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed new regulations aiming to enforce the concept of Net neutrality — but the proposal is taking heat from NN supporters and detractors alike. Vox.com surveyed the reactions of many leading tech policy experts, including TF’s Berin Szoka:
After the DC Circuit Court struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order in January 2014, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler had to go back to the drawing board. Wheeler wanted regulations that would protect network neutrality, but the court decision limited his options.
On April 23, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wheeler’s next move. According to the Journal, Wheeler’s new plan would prohibit internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against specific websites. But they would be allowed to set aside a special “fast lane.” Content companies like Netflix and YouTube could pay extra to ensure that their content got enough bandwidth.
The announcement also drew criticism from libertarians such as Berin Szoka of TechFreedom. “This entire enterprise of prophylactic regulation is a mistake,” Szoka argued. He prefers using existing laws, including antitrust and consumer protection, to intervene in cases of ISP misconduct.