FCC to Propose Pay-for-Preferential Treatment Rules in Blow to Net Neutrality

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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will take public comments before moving forward with a new set of net neutrality rules that sparked controversy when they were leaked in a news report earlier Wednesday.

The FCC will release a proposal soon to reinstate net neutrality rules that would allow broadband providers to negotiate with content providers for preferential treatment, an agency official confirmed Wednesday.

Some digital rights groups called the pay-for-priority proposal, reported earlier in a Wall Street Journal article, the death of net neutrality at the FCC.

But the FCC, in an upcoming meeting, will vote on whether to open the net neutrality proposal up to public comments, though the plan is not finalized, the agency official said.

Under the proposal, “broadband providers would be required to offer a baseline level of service to their subscribers, along with the ability to enter into individual negotiations with content providers,” the official said by email. “In all instances, broadband providers would need to act in a commercially reasonable manner subject to [FCC] review on a case-by-case basis.”

The FCC will seek comment on “exactly what the baseline level of service would be, the construction of a ‘commercially reasonable’ standard, and the manner in which disputes would be resolved,” the official added.

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SOURCE: PC World

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