WASHINGTON — The debate on Capitol Hill over the future of the Internet spilled into public view on Wednesday, as a pair of hearings took up a Republican proposal to put the issue in lawmakers’ hands.
The two hearings, one in the House and one in the Senate, both addressed the Republican proposal, which would create new rules for so-called net neutrality — the concept that Internet traffic should be open and treated equally. And after a morning of harsh rhetoric in the House hearing, hints of a possible compromise emerged in the Senate.
The Federal Communications Commission is set to rule in late February on how it will regulate Internet providers to ensure an open Internet. The commission is widely expected to propose rules that treat the Internet much like a public utility, preventing Internet providers from blocking or slowing any sites.