FCC To Vote On Net Neutrality Bill Next Month
Next month, the FCC will vote on a new set of net neutrality rules – something that has the potential to change the way data is distributed online.
In its simplest terms, net neutrality would keep the distribution of online data a consistent rate for everyone. Successful oppositions to net neutrality have the potential to allow companies or individuals to pay for preferred Internet fast lanes. The argument is that without net neutrality, the Internet would no longer be able to offer equal bandwith to everyone interested in using it creating unfair advantages.
At CES, during a public interview with CEA president Gary Shapiro, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said the commission would be voting on new set of net neutrality rules proposal on February 26 after being distributed internally on February 5.
In early November, president Barack Obama encouraged the FCC to return to net neutrality and Wheeler hopes this new set of rules will find a middle-ground between the president's wishes for net neutrality and the FCC's desire to incorporate some regulatory restrictions on the distribution of Internet.
Net neutrality is a difficult to explain issue that has the potential to make Internet less friendly to consumers (i.e. expensive) and easier to exploit for those who already have a strong foothold in the Internet distribution industry. The best outcome for gamers (or any heavy Internet user) is for net neutrality to remain, and I'm nervous to see what the FCC will present next month.