Keep Internet fair for all

The Federal Communications Commission is considering new regulations that would allow companies that provide Internet service such as cable giants Time Warner and Comcast to sell faster Internet service to companies such as Google, Facebook or Netflix in exchange for a premium price.

The regulations would maintain a minimum level of connection speed for Internet companies that can’t afford the new high-speed Internet traffic lane. The new rule would overturn the FCC’s previous doctrine of “net neutrality,” which required Internet providers to provide all Internet content at the same speed without respect to the company of origin.

This new rule would be bad for customers, the Internet and the economy. Allowing cable companies to charge extra for faster Internet speed would give the large, established companies a huge advantage, potentially preventing the rise of new, small companies.

It also seems likely that companies required to pony up ever-greater fees for faster Internet connections ultimately would try to pass the cost of those fees on to consumers.

Local small businesses and consumers probably would feel the negative effects of the regulations.

The public-comment period for the new FCC rules runs until July 27. We encourage people to voice their concerns by sending emails to openinternet@fcc.gov.