The FCC has begun a historic meeting in which it will determine whether to more strictly regulate the Internet.
The Democratic-led commission is expected to decide 3-to-2, split along party lines, to assert extra government authority over the Internet.
The new rules would establish a concept called “net neutrality.” It’s like equal opportunity for Internet speeds and access to websites.
In principle, net neutrality would mean the owner of a network — like Comcast or Time Warner Cable — couldn’t discriminate what runs on their cables. For example, they wouldn’t be able to unfairly make fast or slow lanes that give preferential treatment to content providers, such as Netflix or Hulu. A phone company like Verizon couldn’t block apps like Google Wallet on your smartphone, like it did in 2011.
But do we need the extra rules? Or are they needless regulations that will hurt businesses? Should the federal government step in to make sure big telecom companies aren’t monopolistic bullies? Or does the current system already work?
These are the major question grappling FCC regulators today.