Thursday, January 08, 2015

FCC chair favors President Obama's net-neutrality stance, reclassifying broadband as a public utility

Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler, whose stance on net-neutrality has not always appeared to be in step with President Obama's, said they were on the same page during a speech this week at the 2015 International CES tech trade show, Tony Romm reports for Politico. "Wheeler repeatedly hinted he favors reclassification of broadband as a public utility, which would subject Internet providers to some of the same rules that govern old phone companies."

"Obama late last year publicly endorsed the tougher approach of treating broadband like a utility—a move that put pressure on the FCC to change course," Romm writes. "But Wheeler insisted Wednesday that he and his team had last summer realized his initial proposal wouldn’t work—and were already proceeding down the path of looking at Title II."

Wheeler said a vote on the net-neutrality proposal was set for Feb. 26, Romm writes. Congressional Republicans do not favor the proposal, though a large portion of the public has expressed support for net-neutrality.

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