Is the Internet just another utility, like electricity and water? The FCC is considering treating it that way.
In a live chat on Twitter, a Federal Communications Commission senior counsel said the agency is going to dangle that possibility, saying consumers should have equal access to equal service. The FCC will seek comment before moving forward.
This would be a move away from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's statements that seemed to open the possibility of "fast-lane Internet" that would give quicker access to some firms - and would throttle down other users. Wheeler has said "fast-lane Internet" wouldn't signal an end to Net Neutrality - the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally - but people aren't buying that argument.
Right now, the FCC is looking at two ways to regulate the Internet On one hand, the agency could use rules intended to cover telephone communications, and offer the same service to everyone. Or, it could regulate on a case-by-case basis, blocking any deals that aren't "commercially reasonable." That would seem to open up tiered service - for example, faster access for streaming services like Netflix.