FCC To Propose New Rules On Internet Neutrality

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Federal Communications Commission announced on Wednesday it will not appeal last month's ruling by a federal appeals court that overturned its Open Internet rules.


The Federal Communications Commission tried to craft rules aimed at preserving Open Internet. Then last month, a federal appeals court struck down those rules. The FCC announced yesterday that it would not appeal the ruling, instead it will try to come up with a new set of rules.

NPR's Joel Rose reports.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: The FCC has tried to make sure that broadband providers treat all traffic on their networks equally. That would mean they can't block or slow access to the Internet or charge certain content companies - like say Netflix or Amazon - more for faster service.

The commission came up with rules four years ago, but they were overturned by an appeals court in Washington but said the FCC lacked the legal authority to enforce them.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says the agency will try again to come up with rules it can enforce. But Republican critics - including FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai - say the agency is meddling in the free market.

AJIT PAI: It reminds me a little bit about the movie "Groundhog Day" and I'm generally skeptical that this effort will end up any differently from the last one in 2010.

ROSE: Critics on the left aren't happy either. Craig Aaron is president of the non-profit consumer advocacy group Free Press. He and others say the FCC would have a stronger legal case if it moved to reclassify broadband under a tougher type of regulation faced by phone companies. Aaron is disappointed that the agency seems unwilling to take that step.

CRAIG AARON: I think it's a shortsighted decision that seems to be easier now, politically, but in the long run, really poses a lot of danger to the free and Open Internet.

ROSE: Big cable and telecom companies have made no secret that they would fight to avoid that kind of reclassification and they have powerful friends on Capitol Hill.

Joel Rose, NPR News, New York.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from