The FCC’s Approved Net Neutrality Rules Are Finally Here for Public Viewing
Commence scrutiny and angry comments!
The FCC already voted to instate its new Net Neutrality rules and classify broadband Internet as a utility, but exactly which parts of the Telecommunications Act Title II they’d be applying to the Internet wasn’t clear to the public—until now.
Generally, the FCC’s new rules applies few Title II provisions in an effort to avoid fears of over regulation of such a new technology. The FCC’s order states,
This includes no unbundling of last-mile facilities, no tariffing, no rate regulation, and no cost accounting rules, which results in a carefully tailored application of only those Title II provisions found to directly further the public interest in an open internet and more, better, and open broadband.
Basically, the only thing they really want to make sure of is that all Internet traffic is treated equally and those paid Internet “fast lanes” don’t become a mainstay of our everyday lives. That’s a big change from the last set of proposed rules, which left the door open for such a thing to happen. The document reads,
A person engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of internet content, application, or service, or use of a non-harmful device, subject to reasonable network management.
Interestingly, these new rules also apply to mobile broadband, which should cause the end of mobile data throttling practices. Overall, the new rules seem like a big win for net neutrality, as they address concerns about Internet openness while steering clear of a lot of the doom and gloom predictions of the over-regulation crowd. We’ll have to wait and see how well that works when the inevitable legal challenges come rolling in from ISPs.
You can read the full text of the rules below:
(via The Verge, image via Free Press)
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