The FCC has released the final draft of its proposal to destroy net neutrality. The order removes nearly every net neutrality rule on the books — internet providers will be free to experiment with fast and slow lanes, prioritize their own traffic, and block apps and services. There’s really only one rule left here: that ISPs have to publicly disclose when they’re doing these things.
Net neutrality supporters have long argued that these policies could unfairly advantage ISPs’ own content. But in the proposal, the FCC says it thinks that won’t happen — simply because some web companies are so much wealthier than ISPs. “It is unlikely that any ISP, except the very largest, could exercise market power in negotiations with Google or Netflix,” the proposal says. It also argues that small web companies need not worry, because any deal made between a large web company, like Google, and an ISP would need to be consistent with antitrust laws.
The order will be voted on next month, at the commission’s December 14th meeting, where it’s almost certain to pass.