FCC approves net neutrality proposal, still would allow for 'fast lanes'

By Kyle Johnson,

The Federal Communications Commission voted to advance the so-called net neutrality proposal on Thursday, which still includes the ability for Internet Service Providers to negotiate for Internet "fast lanes" with content providers.

The vote went 3-2, along party lines, though the four other commission members seemed to be somewhat reserved about the proposal, which will now have four months of public comments before they make a final decision, reports Reuters. The two Republican members who dissented, appeared to do so mostly out of the dislike of any move towards regulation.

Democratic member Jessica Rosenworcel, who previously called for a delay, said, "I believe the process that got us to this rulemaking today is flawed. I would have preferred a delay. I think we moved too fast to be fair."

Chairman Tom Wheeler, who used to be a lobbyist, tried to soothe fears of many tech companies and protesters at the meeting. "I will not allow the national asset of an open Internet to be compromised. I understand this issue in my bones."

The vote on the same proposal comes at odds news earlier in the week that claimed Wheeler would be revising his proposal in an effort to move away from the fast lanes, which is the sticking point that many don't want to see ISPs be allowed to do.

Many worry that if ISPs are allowed to negotiate for prioritized Internet access to content providers, those either unwilling to pay or unable to, will be priced out of the market, effectively allowing for the stifling of competition.

At the Thursday vote, activists protested outside, holding up signs saying, "Keep the Internet Free" and "Liberate the Internet."



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