BEND, OR -- The Federal Communications Commission approved new rules on net neutrality this Thursday that will impose regulations for internet service providers. The internet was reclassified under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which treats ISPs as utilities. The vote will also allow the FCC to block internet paid prioritization, as well as fast lanes and slow lanes.
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) says he's been fighting for this for decades and is happy with the vote. "I called for the reclassification of broadband under Title II because it is the best avenue to project the free and open internet," Wyden says. "I am pleased to see the FCC approve the strongest rules possible."
Wyden says he will continue to fight for policies that preserve the internet as a platform for learning, speech and commerce. He also plans to preserve the internet as a level playing field for business.
Reacting to the vote, Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) says consumers, internet networks and job creation all stand to lose from the FCC's decision. Walden says, "Resorting to Great Depression-era rules will trigger a stampede to the courts, unleashing years of lawsuits and uncertainty at a time when U.S. leadership and the internet economy are more important than ever."
Walden believes the vote along party lines -- Democrats voting for the new rules, Republicans voting against it -- was heavy-handed. He stated that he thought the result was not the policy consensus the issue deserved.
Chris Cappuccio of Yellowknife Wireless in downtown Bend fears the new rules will benefit the "big guy." He tells KBND News, "You know the net effect of regulatory burden -- it's going to entrench the bigger companies that have the resources to do the paperwork and filings that are now going to be required." He adds, "I'm worried about the bureaucracy, if [companies] don't have a regulatory department and people who do nothing but deal with the FCC."
Cappuccio says right now, as the rules have yet to be rolled out, it is unknown what the full impact will be for his company. He does not anticipate much change while litigation continues.