In February, the FCC proposed new regulations for how the internet operates.
The rules, called the Communications Act, would require internet service providers to create “reasonable network management” tools, which could include the ability to manage bandwidth, download speed, and video and audio streaming.
These new rules would also require internet providers to establish an “interconnection” policy, in which they’d provide “reasonable” speeds for connections between different networks, such as if a business needed a faster internet connection because of a major event.
In May, the Federal Communications Commission released a draft of its proposed regulations.
The agency has since made several changes to the draft, including requiring ISPs to set up a “net neutrality” process that would allow the FCC to require internet companies to provide “commercially reasonable” service.
The FCC has not released a final draft yet, and is still working on the rules.
But in a recent blog post, Wheeler wrote that his agency’s new draft rules would not require ISPs to create such a “comprehensive, industry-wide infrastructure” to connect the internet.
Instead, he wrote, they would only require internet services to be “net neutral” (meaning that the internet provider can’t block or throttle certain types of content or content delivery mechanisms, like video streaming).
The draft rules also don’t require internet firms to provide the FCC with information about how their services work, like what bandwidth or speed tiers are used.
Wheeler wrote: The proposal to require ISPs “netneutrality” is intended to address the issue of network management by the broadband industry, which has sought to make the internet “the backbone of the economy.”
That approach is premised on the premise that internet services should operate “in a free and open marketplace,” and that the Internet can and should be regulated in a way that helps consumers, innovation, and the economy.
Wheeler’s proposal is a far cry from his proposal for the past two years, when he and the agency sought to allow internet companies the ability “to control” network traffic, which they believed would lead to faster internet speeds for consumers and businesses.
Wheeler did say that internet providers would have to disclose “the number of times that they have blocked or throttled content, or slowed down other services, or increased the fees they charge for the privilege of allowing these services.”
However, Wheeler said the FCC will continue to “support the broad framework of net neutrality” and its “broad and neutral principles.”
The Federal Communications Act requires internet service companies to establish “reasonable traffic management” policies for networks that “serve consumers or promote competition.”
In March, Wheeler unveiled his new net neutrality proposal, which includes more rules on how internet service should operate and requires internet companies not to discriminate against certain types “based on ownership or control of networks.”
Wheeler said that the draft rules are a “first step toward addressing the FCC’s concerns about net neutrality.”
The FCC’s draft net neutrality rules, which will go into effect on April 28, 2016, will allow ISPs to charge customers more for faster service, but they won’t require ISPs like Comcast to create the necessary infrastructure to manage those prices.
Wheeler said in his blog post that the FCC was committed to working with ISPs to help them “better manage their networks and provide the best possible internet experience for our customers.”
The new rules will also make it easier for companies like AT&T and Comcast to bypass consumer protections on the internet, like blocking certain websites and content providers, and would require ISPs that want to create these types of network “management tools” to disclose their usage and how they’re being used.
Comcast and AT&s plan to sue the FCC over the draft net-neutrality rules.
AT&ing already has taken a public position against the new rules, saying that the proposed rules would allow “the worst elements of the internet to dominate the market for fast, reliable, affordable and affordable broadband.”
The companies are asking the FCC and Congress to take action to protect net neutrality.
AT%s general counsel, Mark Frosch, told the Associated Press that the companies believe the draft regulations are a direct assault on consumer privacy and that they would “reinforce the importance of the FCC rulemaking process to protect consumer privacy.”
Comcast’s Frosk wrote in a blog post on Tuesday that the rules “undermine our commitment to ensure the open, transparent and free internet exists, and to protect our customers’ rights to privacy and fair use.”
“The new draft FCC rules are inconsistent with the FCC Order,” Frosker said.
“They would enable ISPs to bypass the FCC order by imposing ‘reasonable network’ management on the open internet, and without a reasonable basis for doing so.”
AT<d said it supports the FCC decision to make these rules, and that it “will fight this effort to dismantle the open Internet.”
AT% is the second major US internet provider