Tom Wheeler Tweaks Net Neutrality Plan After Google Push

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(Politico) – FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has made some last-minute revisions to his net neutrality plan after Google and public interest groups pressed for the changes, according to sources at the commission.

Google, Free Press and New America’s Open Technology Institute last week asked the commission to revise language they said could unintentionally allow Internet service providers to charge websites for sending content to consumers. Such a scenario could open the door to an avalanche of new fees for Web companies and threaten their business models.

Google executives on Feb. 19 called aides to Wheeler and staffers for the FCC’s two other Democratic commissioners — Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel — to make their case, according to a company disclosure. Clyburn has been the most vocal proponent of the revisions inside the commission, the sources said.

The exact scope of the language changes — which came to light a day before the FCC is scheduled to vote on the rules — wasn’t immediately clear. They do not appear to alter the main thrust of Wheeler’s proposed order, which would regulate broadband like a public utility to ensure Internet providers treat all Web traffic equally. The commission’s Democratic majority is expected to approve the order over objections of Republicans who say the rules are heavy handed and will harm investment.

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