Open Internet Rights Group Public Knowledge plans to file net neutrality complaints against Verizon and possibly other Big 4 wireless carriers over traffic throttling. Public Knowledge attests that the carriers are violating the FCC’s 2010 transparency requirements for net neutrality.
Without net neutrality rules in place, carriers (and ISPs) can prevent users from visiting some websites, provide slower speeds for services like Netflix, throttle data to a certain percentage of subscribers (as Verizon has recently admitted to doing) or even redirect users from one website to a competing website. Net neutrality rules prevent this by requiring carriers and ISps to connect users to all (legal) Internet content equally, without preferential treatment.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler recently proposed new rules that would allow providers to engage in “commercially reasonable” network management, would could result in charges subscribers for premium services and data speeds. President Obama, who has been a long-time proponent of net neutrality stated “You don’t want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to different users.”
The FCC has received more than one million public comments this to date on this issues, with the majority of people opposing paid prioritization. The overwhelming fear is that the slippery slope here would ultimately lead to favoring “commercially reasonable” interests over individual access to not just products, and services, but ultimately information as well.