The proposed rules would "undermine the open Internet by allowing Internet Service Providers to extort fees out of Web platforms, and thereby advantage certain services -- those that are established and wealthy enough to pay the fees, and those that have financial ties to or are otherwise favored by the ISPs -- over other platforms," David Segal, executive director of digital rights group Demand Progress, said by email. "ISPs would be able to pick and choose which services their customers are allowed to access with ease, and make it harder for them to use other services."
Criticisms of the proposal are based on a misconception that the FCC's original 2010 Net neutrality rule prohibited all traffic discrimination, an FCC official said. The new proposal is similar to the 2010 rule because the old rule prohibited unreasonable discrimination, while the new proposal would allow some commercially reasonable traffic shaping, he said.
During a briefing, reporters asked the FCC official whether a commercial peering agreement between Netflix and Comcast, reached in February, would receive FCC scrutiny under the commercially reasonable standard in the new rules. The agreement calls for Netflix to pay Comcast for faster and more reliable access to Comcast's subscribers.
Internet traffic peering and exchange agreements aren't covered by the Net neutrality proposal, meaning the Netflix and Comcast deal wouldn't raise FCC Net neutrality concerns, the official said.
Asked why the FCC doesn't reclassify broadband as a regulated, common-carrier service, an FCC official said the court's roadmap using the broadband deployment section of the Telecom Act was a quicker way to restore Net neutrality rules.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.