Entries with tag tom wheeler.

Proposed US Net Neutrality Rules Draw Fire

The latest attempts by the US Federal Communication Commission to draft Net neutrality rules has already met with backlash from open-Internet advocates who say the proposed rules will endanger the Internet. FCC chair Tom Wheeler said the detractors are wrong and that the new policy is consistent with the agency’s policy that “behavior that harms consumers or competition will not be permitted.” In 2010, the FCC adopted Net neutrality policies, which say that ISPs and governments should treat all Internet traffic equally, without blocking or charging more for certain types of content. In January, however, a US circuit court decided that the FCC didn’t have the authority under current law to impose such rules. The agency is now trying to develop new Net neutrality policies that will pass legal muster. The revised rules require ISPs to be transparent about network activity, particularly their network policies; and bar the discriminatory blocking of traffic based on content or the application or service, such as video streaming, used. However, they would let ISPs sell higher-data-rate services to content providers, subject to FCC review, rather than treat all traffic equally. Numerous organizations and individuals responded by saying that this introduces inequality into Internet services and thereby violates Net neutrality. They also say the policy would violate a 2007 promise by then presidential candidate Barack Obama to support Net neutrality. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the proposed rules on 15 May 2014, following a public-comment period and further review. (The Los Angeles Times)(The New Yorker)(PC Mag)(Businessweek)(The Associated Press)

Obama Nominates Telecom Investor as FCC Chief

US President Barack Obama has selected Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist with considerable experience in the country’s telecommunication industry, to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  The appointment must now be approved by the US Senate. Wheeler is managing director of Core Capital Partners, a Washington, D.C. investment firm. He was CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association between 1992 and headed the National Cable Television Association from 1979 to 1984. Both associations are trade organizations. He also reportedly raised more than $700,000 for Obama’s two presidential election campaigns. If approved, Wheeler would replace Julius Genachowski, who resigned in March after four years as FCC chair. Some telecommunications watchdog groups are concerned that, given Wheeler’s previous experience, he might favor businesses over consumers. If approved, Wheeler would face a pending and very complicated US communications-spectrum auction. Obama appointed FCC member Mignon Clyburn as interim chair until Wheeler’s nomination is finalized. (The New York Times)(TIME)

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