FCC opens new net neutrality rules to public comment

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to begin a four-month public comment period about new rules billed as meant to protect and promote an open Internet.

For example, under the new rules, “priority service offered exclusively by a broadband provider to an affiliate should be considered illegal until proven otherwise.”

However, according to critics, the new rules — since they don’t go as far as classifying the Internet as a public utility — still offer a great deal of leeway for Internet service providers to create “priority lanes” for some content.

The Verge has a nice overview of reactions to the proposed new rules.

(image courtesy photosteve101 via Flickr.)
(image courtesy photosteve101 via Flickr.)

Virtual reality startups may be particularly vulnerable if net neutrality disappears in the United States, since virtual reality platforms require more and more bandwidth as the environments get faster and more realistic — but startups typically won’t be able to afford to pay priority access fees.

This would put the smaller startups in a disadvantageous position compared to giants like Facebook, who are working on their own virtual reality platforms.

If you care about this, contact the FCC and let them know what you think.

Maria Korolov