The Federal Communications Commission is revising it proposed broadband Internet regulations after coming under fire last week from the public, several U.S. senators, and tech heavyweights like Google and Mozilla.
The revised language proposed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is meant to address criticism that the regulations are creating a "slow" and "fast" lane for Internet service. At the moment, the plan blocks broadband Internet providers from purposefully blocking or slowing internet traffic from certain sites, but it does allow ISPs to create deals with sites that would let them pay more for optimal speeds. For example, it would allow Hulu to pay for their streaming to be higher grade than what Netflix offers (if Netflix isn't ponying up for extra broadband speed.) So in practice, this would create a digital content hierarchy that would shatter net neutrality.
Chairman Wheeler's new plan is the same, but different. The concept remains identical: contracts can be created for higher speed connections. However, the revisions will allow for the FCC to "scrutinize the deals to make sure that the broadband providers don't unfairly put nonpaying companies' content at a disadvantage, according to an agency official." This "revision" is flimsy, as the plan itself remains the same, just with more oversight.