The FCC plans to unveil a new proposal later this week that will regulate the internet as utility and forbid internet service providers (ISPs) from intentionally slowing down internet traffic, according to reports from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other publications.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler will propose broadband internet be classified under something called Title II, which is the same distinction given to phone lines.
The rules may also apply to wireless broadband on mobile devices, according to the reports.
This is something that should appease net neutrality advocates. Net neutrality is the concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally and companies shouldn’t be allowed to pay ISPs for so-called “fast lanes” that deliver content faster to customers.
Net Neutrality advocates fear allowing fast lanes will mean big, rich companies will be able to outspend potential startups as more and more business get built on the internet. By regulating broadband connections under Title II, the FCC will be able to guarantee ISPs won’t be able to accept payments from companies to prioritise traffic.
The FCC should formally announce its proposal on Thursday.