Federal Communications Commissioner Tom Wheeler won this round in the fight to change the Internet as we know it.
In a 3-2 preliminary vote, the FCC voted in favor to formally propose new net neutrality rules. Part of the new rules are aimed at allowing Internet service providers (ISP) to charge content companies more money for a fast-lane of service.
Protesters argue the Facebooks and the Googles of the world might not have a problem paying more for the fast lane, but what about the small start-up company? If the start-up doesn’t have money for the fast lane, does that put them in the loser lane with a site that keeps its consumers waiting longer than necessary?
The FCC says that won’t happen. Wheeler insists if someone acts to divide the Internet between the haves and have-nots, the FCC will use every power to stop it.
“Most Internet traffic I think would be unaffected by your Twitter, your email is pretty much going to work as it will and part of these proposed rules is a base-lined level of service so they’re talking about a fast lane, not necessarily a slow lane,” said Pete Pachal, technology editor at Mashable. “But that said, with Netflix paying more to operate in a fast lane, that would mean potentially your Netflix bill is going to go up, but not necessarily your Comcast bill,”
The plan is currently open for public comment. Pachal added, “We’re not going to get a full answer on this until the end of the year.”
—By CNBC’s Christina Medici Scolaro.
Comcast is the parent company of NBC Universal.