Signs of Change in FCC Policy


At the start of 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) incited an outburst of opposition. The FCC had been considering to allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to charge a fee to allocate bandwidth. Those websites that could pay the fee would be given faster download speeds and more traffic at the expense of smaller and independent websites that would be unable to pay. The denizens of the internet quickly lashed back, rallying for support in defense of net neutrality.
Throughout 2014, there had been many petitions and debates which culminated in President Barack Obama himself coming out in support of net neutrality. In reactions to these events, the FCC seems to be shifting its opinion about net neutrality. The FCC has proposed new regulations which will allow it greater freedom to dictate how ISPs allocate their services on the internet. This would seemingly close the net neutrality debate and indicate that the supporters of neutrality have won. However, despite this recent victory, it should remain clear that net neutrality remains in jeopardy. While the FCC has proposed new regulations, it has not outright stated that ISPs are not allowed to give preferential treatment to larger clients like Slow Ventures. What the FCC has proposed should be viewed more as a stepping stone in the debate rather than an outright solution. There remains a long road ahead before the internet can finally be considered safe and impartial.