Chairman Tom Wheeler of the
At issue is whether and how the government should try to stop certain Internet service providers — companies such as AT&T,
Wheeler has proposed taking a case-by-case approach that would forbid ISPs from striking "commercially unreasonable" deals with sites and services that want to pay for premium access to Internet users. Critics on the left say his approach would lead to a "two-tiered" Internet with fast lanes for big companies and slow lanes for start-ups and innovators, while those on the right say it's a solution in search of a problem. The proposal is moving ahead in part because of language Wheeler added to clarify the sorts of deals ISPs would be barred from making, providing more assurance that consumers and content providers wouldn't face slowdowns, and giving more weight to a stringent regulatory alternative favored by many neutrality advocates.