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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New FCC Proposal May Ban Internet Fast-Lanes

Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler waits for a hearing at the FCC December 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler waits for a hearing at the FCC December 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Tom Wheeler on Wednesday proposed new rules that would treat the Internet like a public utility.

The new rules aim to prohibit access to so-called Internet fast-lanes for companies and websites willing to pay for faster delivery of their content.

The commission will vote on the rules later this month. And they could have a widespread impact on how we all use the Internet and the status of what’s known as “net neutrality.”

Timothy Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School who is credited with coming up with the term “net neutrality,” tells Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson that he is in favor of the new rules.

But David Farber, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University and University of Delaware who has helped to design parts of the Internet, tells Hobson he has some reservations about this new approach.

Guests

  • Timothy Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School who has been credited with coming up with the term “net neutrality.” He tweets @superwuster.
  • David Farber, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University and at the University of Delaware. He helped design parts of the Internet, and he has also served as the chief technologist at the FCC.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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