The FCC Makes Internet Control Its 21st Century Mission

The Federal Communications Commission has been steadfast in its determination to reshape our digital world by expanding its authority to control the Internet. Remarkably, after the Obama White House weighed in, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler opted to unleash an outdated regulatory regime that attempts to shoehorn the Internet into the same public-utility structure designed to regulate the old telephone networks of almost a century ago.

While redefining the Internet as a common carrier may be the most visible action taken by the FCC, Wheeler has actually proposed a number of steps that place the FCC squarely at the crossroads of the Internet.

Specifically, Wheeler took three actions that solidify the FCC’s future as digital regulator. Of course, imposing Title II public utility regulation on the Internet – extending even to wireless providers, which always had a light touch of regulation – is the most prominent of the FCC’s actions, and rightly so.