Verizon was reportedly warned by both Comcast and AT&T not to push the envelope on net neutrality, but the company decided to sue the FCC over its compromise net neutrality rules anyway. It successfully got those rules tossed out nearly one year ago and many people assumed this meant ISPs would be free to charge companies more money to ensure the speedy delivery of their traffic. However, the huge public outrage at the prospect of letting ISPs create Internet “fast lanes” put renewed pressure on the FCC to take a tougher stance on net neutrality, and now it looks like Verizon is about to suffer a humiliating defeat.
Ars Technica reports that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has “all but confirmed” that he’ll propose new rules that would reclassify ISPs under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which would give the commission the power to regulate them as common carriers.
Although ISPs have vowed that fires will rain from skies and the oceans will boil and turn red with blood if this happens, Wheeler said during a CES 2015 talk that he wasn’t too concerned about them deciding to not upgrade their networks.
“After the president said what he said about Title II, we still had a record bidding for spectrum from ISPs and continued announcements about new gigabit plants going out,” Wheeler said.
Although we won’t know for sure what Wheeler has planned until next week, at the moment it looks like Verizon’s gambit to destroy net neutrality in the United States has completely backfired.