The Federal Communications Commission met earlier today to discuss a plan that could change the Internet experience as we all know and love it. Commissioners voted by a three-two margin to move the proposal forward and their decision has been hotly anticipated, as critics say it could challenge the open Internet experience and belittle net neutrality. Net neutrality is the concept that says Internet providers shouldn’t be able to restrict how everyone uses the service.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who voted yes to moving the proposal forward, stressed that “”What we’re dealing with today is a proposal, not a final rule. We are asking for specific comment on different approaches to accomplish the same goal — an open Internet.” The public now has four months to comment before the FCC begins writing up final rules, which Wheeler says he hopes to have finalized by 2015. Yesterday, the Future of Music Coalition and Free Press unveiled a letter opposing the plan with signatures from quite a few big names in music: Eddie Vedder, Michael Stipe, Jeff Mangum, Fugazi, tUnE-yArDs, Neko Case, and more. The American Association of Independent Music has also warned against the proposal, saying that it would make it much more difficult for labels to connect with fans. The next few months are going to be big, so stay tuned for more updates.