First a federal court overturns the FCC net neutrality rules, then Comcast announces that it is buying their biggest competitor (which would give them seriously dangerous control over the Internet), but finally there is some good news. The FCC announced yesterday that they are going to reformulate their net neutrality rules. Hopefully, this time they will get it right.
Underlying all this is whether or not the internet companies should be treated as common carriers (like phone companies and other utilities), which require a higher level of regulation.
While I strongly support rules enforcing net neutrality, I’m hopeful that these new rules can be applied without reclassifying the Internet as a common carrier (at least for now). The Internet is still new and is growing and changing, it would be a shame to put any unnecessary dampers on innovation.
The FCC will not immediately reclassify Internet service as a utility, but it will retain the right to do so in the future if their new rules do not work adequately to protect the Internet. The White House announced that they support this approach.