Skeptics greet Wheeler hybrid internet plan
The ongoing saga of the net neutrality controversy entered its latest chapter with word that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is considering a two-pronged approach that offers the types of compromises that likely leave all parties cold.
According to a Reuters report, ISP dealings with their customers would be lightly regulated.
On the back-end, though, ISPs would be regulated more like old fashioned phone utilities when it comes to providing access to the internet for content providers.
ISPs have of course been dead set against the concept from the getgo, and Reuters noted that they are a near lock to challenge the back-end portion of such a plan.
And on the consumer side, the concept has already drawn fire from Craig Aaron of watchdog Free Press.
Aaron stated, “We’ve seen this horror movie before: Too-clever lawyers try to avoid tough political choices with legal theories that wilt under scrutiny. The FCC tried this approach in 2005 and again in 2010 — and they lost in court both times. This new scheme won’t work any better.”
He added, “According to the story, this new proposal would ‘separate broadband into two distinct services: a retail one, in which consumers would pay broadband providers for Internet access; and a back-end one, in which broadband providers serve as the conduit for websites to distribute content.’ That would divide the Internet in unprecedented ways — at best protecting only the companies that send information but not Internet users like you and me.”