The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler has officially declared support for Title II reclassification.
It comes after a failed attempt by the commission to create a hybrid net neutrality plan, which neither side found ample. Wheeler has apparently warmed to President Obama’s own pledge to net neutrality, calling for broadband and wireless reclassification.
Of course, AT&T, Comcast and other broadband providers are already preparing to fight the FCC on this reclassification, but given the fact four of the largest providers are currently working on mergers it might work in the FCC’s favor to reclassify now.
The bill will be pushed through Congress and the details are still uncertain but it is clear the Chairman of the FCC is fully behind a free and open internet. Democrats are mostly behind it too, but many Republicans voices see Title II reclassification as a step too far.
In a heartwarming article on Wired, Wheeler goes through how the FCC has always fought for freedom on the internet, and the new reclassification is a stance for the future of the internet in the U.S.
“Using this authority, I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC.” said Wheeler. “These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. I propose to fully apply—for the first time ever—those bright-line rules to mobile broadband. My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission.”
In Europe, Sir Tim Berners-Lee is also looking to enforce new net neutrality laws to protect and regulate broadband providers, to make sure what could have happened in the U.S. never happens in Europe.