WASHINGTON D.C. (KCBS) — The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to move ahead with a proposal of new rules that could set standards for Internet providers who wish to create paid priority fast lanes on their networks.
The preliminary 3-2 vote submits the so-called net neutrality rules for formal public comment over the next 120 days. After that, the FCC will revise the proposal and vote on a final set of rules.
A previous set of rules was struck down by an appeals court earlier this year after Verizon challenged them. The new proposal reportedly follows the blueprint set forth by that court decision.
The proposal’s specifics are likely to be contentious. Net neutrality supporters have already begun to condemn the two-lane approach. They claim that smaller innovative companies might find it too expensive to bring new technologies and business models to market. Fees for faster access, necessary for high resolution video services as one example, favor large companies such as Google, Facebook or Comcast.
Internet service providers, meanwhile, counter that creating a two-tier system is necessary so they can raise money needed to invest in the infrastructure that can keep up with the ever increasing data use including streaming programming, Netflix, for example accounts one-third of North American internet traffic.