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WASHINGTON – Federal Communication Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his intention to use the FCC’s authority under Title II of the Communications Act to create and enforce open internet protections in an op-ed in Wired this morning. Title II would allow the FCC to treat the internet as a public utility, much like telephones.
Gabe Rottman, legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office, had this reaction:
While we look forward to reviewing the details of the proposal, Chairman Wheeler’s decision to put forward legally defensible net neutrality rules is a landmark victory for free speech and the open internet. Without the strong foundation provided by Title II, our ability to speak and associate freely online without having to pay for fast lanes would be left vulnerable. This announcement is especially important for low-income, minority and rural Americans, who will be better able to access quality, affordable information services if the FCC approves Title II reclassification.