Tom Wheeler Saves Internet, Internet Rejoices

Good news for fans of the open Internet

Word came via an op-ed in Wired this morning from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. “After more than a decade of debate and a record-setting proceeding that attracted nearly 4 million public comments,” he wrote, “the time to settle the Net Neutrality question has arrived.”

Under the proposed rules, expected to pass a vote by the FCC that will likely take place on February 26, mobile companies will join broadband companies as designated utilities, and will be subject to, according to Wheeler, “the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC.” Internet service providers will be prohibited from providing “fast-lanes” to companies willing to pay more for speedier service or slowing down the websites of companies that aren’t. The proposal would also ban providers from blocking legal content.

“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,” wrote Wheeler.

Twitter, reliably, exploded once news was out:


This tweet from The Verge encapsulating what many took to Twitter to say:

Politico has the backstory on how a former cable and mobile company lobbyist ended up writing the proposal to permanently enshrine the principle of Net Neutrality.