The controversial and the much debated issue of net neutrality will go for an acid test on Thursday as the regulatory body Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is driving toward a landmark voting on the sweeping plan to regulate Internet traffic, which critics believe would impose a new beginning of parameters for how the online population of the United States use and do business on the web, while the proponents opine that it would ensure an “open” Internet with more powers in the government’s hand.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal for net neutrality has been fiercely debated. Even in the 11th-hour, appeals, opposition and support over the issue continue, making the whole scenario more dramatic.
As Wheeler’s 332-page plan go to voting on the floor on Thursday, the five-member board is likely to approve his set of new rules for monitoring the Internet content.
The new proposals aim to preserve an ‘open’ Internet, while preventing the Internet service providers (ISPs) from distinguishing the content makers. But regardless of what will be the voting decision spell for Wheeler on Thursday, the FCC’s action will not be the last word.
US President Barack Obama has also vocally pushed FCC’s aggressive Internet rules. His support to the controversial proposal has raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill over any undue influence by the White House. House Republicans had planned a hearing over the subject on Wednesda, but they later postponed the hearing as the FCC Chairman has allegedly refused to testify.
“This fight continues as the future of the Internet is at stake,” Fred Upton, R-Mich., House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, House oversight committee Chairman, said in a statement while announcing the delay in hearing.
As per a report by The Hill, an important Democratic member in the FCC, named Mignon Clyburn, has proposed some last-minute changes in order to scale back Wheeler’s net neutrality plan.
According to the analysts, Wheeler is in a tight spot as the regulatory body comprises of two Republicans and three Democrats.
As Republicans are expected to oppose the FCC plan, Wheeler would require Clyburn’s support to push it through.