It seems US president Barack Obama has won the battle with the Republicans over Net neutrality.
The New York Times has reported that The Federal Communications Commission is expected on Thursday to approve regulating Internet service like a public utility, prohibiting companies from paying for faster lanes on the Internet.
Republicans on Capitol Hill, who once criticised Obama’s stance on Net neutrality - sometimes even calling it ‘Obamacare for the Internet’ - now say they are unlikely to pass a legislative response that doesn’t have bipartisan support.
“We’re not going to get a signed bill that doesn’t have Democrats’ support,” said Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota and chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. “This is an issue that needs to have bipartisan support.”
The FCC’s regulation means it would let the agency regulate Internet access as if it is a public good – a concept known as Net neutrality. This also means a ban for all initiatives on paid prioritisation – or as they’re popularly known - the Internet fast lanes.
It would also forbid the intentional slowing of the Internet for companies who refuse to pay broadband providers – which is something we’ve seen in the past.
The Democratic chairman, Tom Wheeler ‘s plan is widely supported, by companies such as Netflix, Twitter, Mozilla and Etsy.
“We’ve been outspent, outlobbied. We were going up against the second-biggest corporate lobby in D.C., and it looks like we’ve won,” said Dave Steer, director of advocacy for the Mozilla Foundation, the nonprofit technology foundation that runs Firefox. “A year ago today, we did not think we would be in this spot.”