(via WashingtonPost.com) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday voted in favor of advancing a proposal that could dramatically reshape the way consumers experience the Internet, opening the possibility of Internet service providers charging Web sites for higher-quality delivery of their content to American consumers.


The plan, approved in a three-to-two vote along party lines, could unleash a new economy on the Web where an Internet service provider such as Verizon would charge a website such as Netflix for the guarantee of flawless video streaming. The proposal is not a final rule, but the vote on Thursday is a significant step forward on a controversial idea that has invited fierce opposition from consumer advocates and Silicon Valley heavyweights. The FCC will now open the proposal to a total 120 days of public comment. Final rules, aimed for the end of the year, could be rewritten after the agency reviews the public comments.

Continue reading WashingtonPost.com: FCC approves plan to consider paid priority on Internet

SmallBusiness.com Background Note:

While comments by members of the FCC today pledged not to have “two internets,” the rules left the door open for changes that could make it hard for small businesses to compete with deep-pocketed competitors.

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