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FCC to Vote on Net Neutrality in February

3 Jan, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The Federal Communications Commission reportedly will vote on new net neutrality guidelines in February, a FCC spokesperson confirmed Jan. 2. Net neutrality aims to level the playing field for companies and services delivering streaming content over the Internet.

Accordsing to media reports, FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart confirmed a decision would be made next month without elaborating further.

Previous net neutrality rules were derailed a year ago after a federal appeals court struck down select provisions. Following the decision, major ISPs began making deals with Netflix — the largest generator of broadband traffic during peak primetime hours — to charge additional fees to ensure its subscribers receive the smoothest streaming.

The FCC, under the leadership of chairman Tom Wheeler, is tasked with spearheading the new rules. The former cable industry lobbyist made waves last year when he said he would be in favor of tiered streaming channels based on fees that were fair and commercially viable.

Since that revelation, the FCC has been inundated by millions of emails, letters and industry statements on both sides of the issue — but leaning toward regulated — not market-driven — access.

President Obama, who appointed Wheeler and says ruling on new net neutrality guidelines rests with the FCC, has publicly advocated that all Internet traffic be treated equally.

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