Since revealing his plan to use Title II of the Telecommunications Act to protect net neutrality, and infuriating cable companies and ISPs in the process, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and his proposal have come under heavy fire from opponents. However, while giving a speech in Colorado, the chairman hit back at critics of the plan.
In response to the suggestion that because so many startups have already been wildly successful online even without the proposed net neutrality regulations, those regulations aren’t needed, or worse, might jeopardize those companies’ success, Wheeler called out Verizon and other ISPs, who have stated in no uncertain terms that they’d be be all too thrilled to set up fast lanes and otherwise wield their power over the net for commercial gain.
Wheeler also took aim at the oft-repeated talking point that Title II is an outdated law from the 1930s, designed to apply to wireline rotary telephones, calling that allegation misleading, and emphasizing his intention to “modernize” the application of Title II for the Internet age.