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FCC Not Done With Net Neutrality Fight

February 19, 2014 by  

It looks as though the Federal Communications Commission is ready to dive back into the net neutrality debate. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced Wednesday the agency is ready to move forward with plans to overhaul rules that govern the way Internet service providers handle online traffic.

Wheeler’s announcement comes on the heels of a D.C. appeals court ruling last month that overturned the agency’s standing net neutrality rules because, according to the panel, they were too ambitious.

That decision stated the FCC treated Internet service providers in much the same fashion as older telephone companies, which operate under heavy government oversight. The FCC has said it will not appeal the ruling, opting instead to revisit its current open-Internet guidelines – including a new approach to rules that prevent Internet companies from blocking or otherwise limiting online access.

Wheeler said the agency will also will seek to increase the level of transparency surrounding providers’ management of network traffic – though some critics argue that enforcing the “transparency” provisions will prove difficult, since providers negotiate agreements that, so far, have never been opened to government scrutiny.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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