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F.C.C. Considering Hybrid Regulatory Approach to Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON — The chairman and staff of the Federal Communications Commission are moving toward a proposal that for the first time would give the agency regulatory authority over how Internet traffic flows between content providers and the companies that provide Internet service to consumers, according to people close to the discussions.

The proposal is part of a hybrid solution that has gained favor among theF.C.C. staff over the last two months. Like other possible solutions, it seeks to reestablish the F.C.C.’s authority to enforce net neutrality, the general concept that no Internet traffic should be discriminated against unfairly.

But unlike policies previously considered, which treated the entire Internet ecosystem as a single universe, the hybrid proposal would establish a divide between “wholesale” and “retail” transactions.

It would apply utilitylike regulation to the wholesale portion, the exchange of data from the content provider to the Internet service provider for passage through to the end consumer. The retail portion, the transaction that sends data through the Internet service provider to the consumer and which allows the consumer to access any legal content on the Internet, would receive a lighter regulatory touch.

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Article written By  of the New York Times.

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