This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

FCC Wheeler's Rhetoric Not Matching Actions, Says Free Press

Stocks in this article: CMCSA

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Internet is careening on a path toward a two-tiered network, a "fast-lane" for a handful of wealthy companies and a slow lane for the rest of us, said Craig Aaron, president of the advocacy group Free Press.

Aaron's dire forecast contrasted with an impassioned Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler who told a packed Washington, D.C. hearing room Thursday that he would work to guarantee that the Internet "remains free and open," the siren call of those who advocate for "net neutrality." The five-member FCC approved Wheeler's proposal to re-write rules to oversee Internet connectivity.

Wheeler's proposed rules are meant to balance calls for equal access to the Web with the demands of companies that have spend billions of dollars to build broadband networks. Nonetheless, the chairman's proposal would allow broadband providers such as Comcast (CMCSA), the country's largest cable-TV operator, Verizon (V) and AT&T (T) to sell preferential services to those willing to pay for them. Wheeler and Democrat Commissioner Mignon Clyburn voted in favor of the resolution while the two Republican commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly voted against. 

Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel called for a delay in the entire process, saying she would prefer to explore rules that would regulate the Internet as a utility. Rosenworcel voted to concur.

But in the hearing room, packed with some of the Netroots activists who had camped outside of the FCC's Washington headquarters in anticipation of the hearing, doubts about the agency's resolve ran high. Aaron was among them.

"The rules as drafted won't accomplish the goals that the chairman said that he's trying to accomplish," Aaron said. "The path that the agency is moving forward with would still leave us open to a two-tiered Internet. Until the reality of the text matches the rhetoric, I can't say I'm happy."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,946.30 +141.50 0.79%
S&P 500 2,077.40 +6.75 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,779.7030 +14.3230 0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs