For most of 2014, the Federal Communications Commission has been debating rules to protect the open Internet. The key question is whether the agency should adopt streamlined, modern rules based on the FCC’s general power to promote the broadband Internet market or to reclassify the Internet under archaic public utility rules called Title II.

Lately, however, an even more convoluted idea has emerged: a hybrid approach that would dramatically expand regulation of the back end connections between so-called edge companies (apps, content and services) and Internet service providers (ISPs) under the utility approach, while using the lighter-touch general authority for the rest of the network.

While much remains unknown about this proposal, what we have heard so far raises serious questions about the depth and reach of government into the Internet.

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