Tom Wheeler all but confirmed on Wednesday that new federal regulations will treat the Internet like a public utility.
During a chat at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman reportedly hinted that the new rules will take the controversial step to enact tough Internet regulations under Title II of the Communications Act, though he refrained from saying so explicitly.
The model for new rules, Wheeler said, would be the wireless industry.
He added that there are several sections of the law that the agency might not apply if it did hand down utility-style rules for the Internet, to avoid restricting competition online.
“There are many parts of Title II that are inappropriate and would thwart investment, but a model has been set in the wireless business that has billions of dollars of investment” and is thriving in other ways, Wheeler said.
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