FCC to propose new rules in net neutrality, allow for some preferential treatment

By Kyle Johnson,

The Federal Communications Commission plans on proposing new rules regarding net neutrality that would allow for Internet Service Providers to give preferential treatment to content providers if they are willing to pay.

Sources familiar to the situation have said that the FCC won't allow for ISPs to block access to any content provider, but would allow for content providers to pay for slightly faster connections to customers, reports The Wall Street Journal. Any deals made would have to be "commercially reasonable," which is something the FCC would decide.

Though websites cannot be blocked, under the proposal, ISPs still would be allowed to slow connections somewhat to some, which is a move that will upset backers of net neutrality who believe that access to all websites should be equal.

The proposal comes just a couple months after a federal court ruled against FCC control as the commission itself had previously ruled Internet connections were not to be regulated the same as public utilities, which is what it was doing, according to The New York Times. The ruling did allow for some leeway for how the FCC could wiggle into regulating ISPs anyway.

On top of potentially slowing connections to content providers not willing to fork over cash to ISPs, proponent s for net neutrality worry that the increased costs from larger content providers could inevitably be passed over to consumers. The move could also allow large companies to price startups out of the market for a fair connection before they are even out of the gate, thereby potentially stifling innovation.

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