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US watchdog boss pencils in net neutrality February showdown – report

FCC chairman said to be finally ready for vote

US broadband watchdog the FCC is reportedly planning to hold a vote next month on how it will, or won't, eventually enforce net neutrality.

The Washington Post cited an unnamed source within the regulator in reporting that chairman Tom Wheeler wants his fellow commissioners to approve his proposed "Open Internet" rules.

Wheeler, we're told, plans to circulate a proposed order in the coming weeks and then call a vote on it. It is not known just what rules he wants to implement and whether Wheeler would invoke the controversial Title II provision to reclassify internet service providers as common carriers.

The vote would bring the ongoing net neutrality saga in the US much closer to resolution. The FCC has been in the middle of a battle between those who wish to impose rules to ensure carriers treat traffic equally and those who wish to allow carriers to prioritize traffic as they see fit.

Regardless of what Wheeler and the FCC ultimately decide on doing with net neutrality, someone will no doubt be walking away disappointed.

The debate over net neutrality has seen some of the largest companies in the consumer and business computing spaces pick sides as web service providers like Netflix and Google have come out in favor of neutrality provisions while carriers such as Verizon and Comcast are not surprisingly against adding any further regulatory constraints to their businesses.

The war over net neutrality has spilled over into the other branches of government with Congresscritters taking up both sides of the argument and President Obama going so far as to recommend that the commission invoke Title !!. ®

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