You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

FCC's Tom Wheeler on Open Internet Rules: 'We Shouldn't Be Going Backwards' FCC's Tom Wheeler on Open Internet Rules: 'We Shouldn't Be Going Backwards'

By Nina Zipkin

entrepreneur daily
REUTERS | Yuri Gripas
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler gestures at the FCC Net Neutrality hearing in Washington.

With the FCC's Open Internet rules set to go into effect on June 12, telecom companies such as AT&T and CenturyLink and industry groups including the American Cable Association and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association have requested that certain aspects of the rules be blocked due to the increased compliance burdens.

But despite these kinds of complaints (which are likely to turn into legal suits) and powerful net neutrality opponents such as Mark Cuban, who recently blamed the new rules for the breakdown of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is optimistic about the road ahead.

Related: FCC Adopts Tough Net Neutrality Rule in Historic Regulatory Shift

In a conversation today at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York, Wheeler said that more than a dozen companies are currently suing the FCC, which he said he expected from the start of the debate over net neutrality. "I said all along, the big dogs are going to sue…the big dogs will sue on things they don't like, it's their right to." He went on to say that he felt confident about the outcome of the court cases.

Passed in February, the FCC's rules reclassified Internet Service Providers as "telecommunications services," therefore subjecting them to increased regulation. The reclassification gives the FCC more power to prevent broadband providers from favoring certain content providers.

Related: Obama Throws Support Behind Net Neutrality

Wheeler said the impressive 4 million responses the open comment period yielded, "proved the power of an open internet to free expression." He said that while disputes aren't likely to disappear in the near future, "I hope that in this debate what we recognize is that on June 12…there will be in place the strongest open internet protections that anyone has ever imagined. And we shouldn't be going backwards from them."

Regarding Comcast and Time Warner Cable, Wheeler believes the companies' decision to pull the plug on their proposed merger was the right call. "Our concern was that it was not in the public interest to do this."

Related: Despite What Mark Cuban Says, Net Neutrality Will Not Create 'Uncertainty'

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.

Marketing

I Got Over 225,000 Views in Just 3 Months With Short-Form Video — Here's Why It's the New Era of Marketing

Thanks to our new short-form video content strategy, we've amassed over 225,000 video views in just three months. Learn how to increase brand awareness through short-form video content.

Branding

94% of Customers Say a Bad Review Made Them Avoid Buying From a Brand. Try These 4 Techniques to Protect Your Brand Reputation.

Maintaining a good reputation is key for any business today. With so many people's lives and shopping happening online, what is said about a company on the internet can greatly influence its success.

Personal Finance

How to Get a Lifetime of Investing Experience in Only One Year

Plus, how day traders can learn a lesson from pilots.

Productivity

6 Habits That Help Successful People Maximize Their Time

There aren't enough hours in the day, but these tips will make them feel slightly more productive.

Growing a Business

Looking to Achieve Your Goals But Don't Know Where to Start? Try These Proven Goal-Setting Strategies.

Find a more effective way of creating – and achieving – your goals. Get clear on your vision, make your plan, take action, reassess and then revise.