Net neutrality is a topic that raises some serious support from both sides of the table. The cable and phone companies that provide the majority of the nation’s broadband connectivity don’t want the FCC to impose rules and regulation on the industry. At the same time, many consumers want the FCC to step in and force the broadband providers and wireless carriers to treat all traffic equally rather than forcing slower speeds for things like video streaming.
The FCC had previously postponed any rulings on net neutrality until after the November elections were completed. Now that the elections are over, the FCC is again moving to make a decision on net neutrality. The FCC is considering web traffic rules for a meeting set for December reports Reuters.
The meeting was set for December 15, but that meeting has now been postponed until December 20. The delay of the meeting is to give the FCC more time to set its agenda. Agendas for meetings are typically released three weeks before a meeting is held. The FCC has not confirmed that net neutrality will be the topic of its December meeting.
Analyst Jeffery Silva said, “The signals out there seem to be they are in fact contemplating a vote in December.” He continued, “The situation’s very fluid at the present time, and I think they’re carefully considering the message they’ve received from Capitol Hill and trying to figure out their next step.”
One of the core issues that the FCC is considering is the reclassification of internet services under the same umbrella as telephone service. The reclassification of broadband services in that manner would give the FCC a better legal footing for forcing broadband providers to follow its rules. The FCC’s legal authority over the broadband and wireless industries has been questioned in court.
Reuters reports that an analyst from Stifel Nicolaus stated in a research note the FCC is likely to skip reclassification in favor of a net neutrality bill that was developed by House Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman back in September. The legislation is a draft right now and had support from industry providers but was unable to move forward in the House.
Analysts expect that any rules adopted for the industry would treat wireless broadband differently. The expectation is that the wireless providers would be allowed to put more focus on voice calls over video and other services using their network.
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