Washington was quick to react to Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler's official announcement of what most already knew: he is proposing to reclassify Internet access under Title II common-carrier regulations.
Whether it was a big blow or a boon to the 'net definitely depended on the vantage point.
“The proposed update to net-neutrality rules is a triumph for the American consumer," said Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.). "The American people asked for the strongest possible rules to ensure a free and open Internet, and chairman Wheeler has heard their voices by proposing to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Communications Act."
But it was not all flowers and kudos.
"The Internet economy, developed without federal regulation, is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise stagnant American economy," said former Republican commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth. "Regulating the Internet will not help America. It will hurt. It will discourage investment in networks. It will discourage the development of a faster, more consumer-friendly Internet. It will lead to at least two years of intense litigation during which a great deal of uncertainty will cover the Internet."
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.