FCC chairman: Rule needed to prevent Internet providers from speeding up, slowing down content

A top government regulator says Internet service providers — including those selling wireless broadband — should be regulated more heavily to prohibit them from slowing down or speeding up web traffic.

In an op-ed to Wired magazine posted online Wednesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said his plan would regulate Internet service similar to phone service, by applying a section of the 1934 Communications Act. He wrote that using enforceable, defined rules will prevent broadband providers from blocking or throttling content.

The FCC will vote Feb. 26 on his proposal.

Net neutrality is the idea that Internet providers should not move some content faster than others or enter into paid agreements with companies such as Netflix to prioritize their data.

Broadband providers have questioned the fairness of this approach.