As the new Federal Communications Commission chairman, Tom Wheeler has kicked up some dust in the tech community by laying the groundwork for a grand vision for the next generation of networks but then walking back one of the key principles of net neutrality. The stakes here are your rights to an open Internet—and the ability of the FCC to ensure those rights, through net neutrality rules and beyond.

Wheeler sparked the debate during remarks after a speech at the Ohio State University. Reading the tea leaves is a fun exercise, but with the FCC’s Open Internet rules (which implemented net neutrality into agency regulations) being reviewed by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, his remarks are particularly important—for net neutrality and in defining how the FCC will regulate communications going forward.


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