The days of dial-up are long gone, and thanks to faster connections, Americans have come to rely on the Internet for business, personal communication and entertainment.
The Federal Communications Commission currently has some power to regulate broadband, but not to the extent it does utilities, and its attempts to enforce “net neutrality”—the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally—have been tossed out in court. (The #fcc is now floating a proposal that would forbid broadband providers from blocking websites but allow them to charge a premium for access to their fastest lanes.)
Some say broadband needs to be subjected to public-utility rules, so the FCC can use its full authority to ensure the Internet remains open and accessible. They say broadband is so crucial and the industry so concentrated that it needs stricter oversight.
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