By a 3-2 vote, the FCC has backed chairman Tom Wheeler's neutrality proposal. As previously reported, the proposal doesn't stop ISPs from creating pay-for-priority deals with content providers (fiercely opposed by neutrality supporters), but does seek comment on whether they should be banned.
The proposal also calls for creating an ombudsman to represent the interests of Web users, and for holding ISPs to service minimums. Moreover, it suggests re-evaluating the looser neutrality rules mobile carriers have been subject to.
Notably, Wheeler (no doubt sensitive to the public backlash to his past remarks) stated during the FCC's hearing (live blog) he's open to regulating ISPs as common carriers (something they've strongly opposed). The commission seeks comment on what rules it should use to enforce neutrality.
Initial comments on the proposal can be submitted until July 15, and reply comments until September 10.
Netflix (NFLX -2.5%), which has pushed for tougher neutrality rules even as it agrees to direct peering deals in the near-term to guarantee service quality, is following the market lower. The FCC vote comes as Sandvine reports Netflix has accounted for 34% of North American peak downstream traffic in 2014, up from 32% six months ago.