Regulators are taking another crack at their effort to keep the web free and open, introducing new rules that would discourage Internet service providers from charging companies to stream their movies, music and other content through a faster express lane. The proposal, unveiled by the FCC on Wednesday, is part of a continuing battle over the basic pipelines through which information flows on the Internet.
The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comment on how to keep the Internet open and accessible to all. The agency’s outreach is in response to a recent U.S. circuit court decision that threatened a law (“net neutrality”) that prohibits Internet Service Providers, such as Verizon, from charging Internet companies for faster websites. The law is of paramount concern to the web industry, especially Netflix, which fears that forcing websites to pay more money for faster service will both raise costs on multimedia websites and prevent savvy startups from competing with their well-funded established competitors.