Recode: How Google Fiber, Comcast and other big ISPs are driving down internet speeds for millions of Americans
The FCC is in the midst of a major overhaul of how the country’s biggest ISPs deliver internet service, as it seeks to address a growing public outcry over the slow speeds they’re seeing from other ISPs.
While the FCC is expected to approve the latest round of broadband service reforms in the coming weeks, it’s clear that the move is likely to be controversial, and the internet community is already taking action.
The FCC, however, is taking the lead on the issue.
As Recode previously reported, the FCC on Monday voted to give ISPs more leeway in prioritizing internet service for customers.
According to a draft of the rules, ISPs could prioritize broadband service based on “different network management and management objectives,” such as providing more data and other services.
“This may not always be the case,” the FCC wrote.
“It may also be the situation where there are many consumers that are receiving a higher level of service than their peers.”
A major reason for the FCC’s push for a faster internet is that, in the United States, ISPs are now required to give their customers access to “fast lanes,” meaning they can deliver faster internet service at a lower price than competitors.
That means if Comcast wants to deliver a fast lane to a small town, it can pay Comcast to do so, instead of letting its customers choose the ISPs they want to get access to.
In addition to ISPs getting the chance to decide what kinds of services they want the internet to deliver to them, the rules would also allow them to use their “net neutrality” powers to prevent competitors from doing the same thing.
Currently, some companies are using this power to try to force other companies to deliver faster or cheaper internet to customers.
And while the FCC rules could help bring some more transparency to the internet market, they also will be challenged in court.
Google Fiber, which offers broadband to more than 100,000 households in the Washington, D.C. area, is one of the largest broadband providers in the country.
A new FCC report from the Brookings Institution shows that Google Fiber is already delivering the fastest internet speeds in the US, and is likely set to deliver more speeds to other US cities and states in the future.
And Comcast’s network is currently experiencing its slowest speeds in a decade.
Comcast has not yet responded to Ars’ request for comment.
If the FCC does approve the new rules, the internet industry is expected by the end of the year to see major changes to how its biggest internet providers deliver internet.
Among other things, the changes will allow ISPs to prioritize some types of data traffic for the faster service.
The FCC also wants to give broadband providers more levees to charge for faster service, and would also enable them to charge extra for faster connections.