FCC Rules on Net Neutrality
Well today has finally arrived in respect to the FCC’s decision in respect to net neutrality and it went down like most of us expected and hoped for.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted to approve new net neutrality rules by reclassifying broadband as a regulated public utility over the objections of the commission’s Republican members and large broadband providers.
Of course the new regulations will almost certainly face a court challenge from broadband providers, and a court case could drag out for years. Verizon Communications, AT&T and Comcast have all publicly opposed reclassification of broadband. They see profits and control diminishing in respect to internet services and the ISP’s will not go down without a fight.
The rules are basically grounded in a reclassification of broadband from a lightly regulated information service to a more heavily regulated telecommunications service, although FCC staff said the agency will refrain from applying about 700 traditional telecom rules, such as price regulation and forced sharing of networks with competitors.
The order applies net neutrality regulations to mobile, as well as fixed and broadband providers although smaller broadband providers will be exempt for a period of time. The new rules will prohibit broadband providers from acting as gatekeepers to Web content.
The FCC’s vote comes after a year of debate over net neutrality rules. In early 2014, a U.S. appeals court overturned net neutrality rules the agency passed in 2010, saying the FCC pegged the rules to the wrong section of the Telecommunications Act.
There is sure to be some court battles with the big broadband providers with republicans lining up with the them to battle the FCC and democrats. For me, I stand with the FCC on this one.