Net Neutrality Rules and Regulations To Take Effect Within Months

The U.S. government has never been accused of moving too quickly on anything, and the Net neutrality rules that the FCC released late in 2010 are no exception. According to Reuters, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget has finally signed off on the rules, which clears the way for implementation in the coming months.

In a nutshell, Net neutrality concerns whether or not the government should regulate ISPs, and if so, to what extent. The new rules are, predictably, a compromise; if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty details, you can read the FCC’s document for yourself.

To say that Net neutrality has been a contentious issue would be an understatement; even the FCC commissioners narrowly approved the rules with a 3-2 vote. The issue has been hotly debated for years, and there’s been no sign of abatement as the rules creep closer to the day when they officially take effect.

Lobbyists, activists, and big businesses alike have taken up various positions on the issue. Google and Verizon took a lot of heat for a set of Net neutrality rules they jointly proposed in lieu of government intervention. Verizon, MetroPCS Communications, and Comcast have taken the fight to the courts, with mixed results, and the litigation is not expected to stop after the rules are officially on the books.

The Internet, compared to other telecommunications platforms, is rather new, and it’s changing constantly as new technologies, software, hardware, and consumer and business demands alter its landscape. It’s still a sort of wild frontier. As is the norm with any technological boom, law makers are struggling to figure out how to create laws governing the Internet that protect consumers, are fair to businesses, and foster further innovation.

It’s not an easy task; just understanding how the new technology works is hard, especially for public servants whose grandchildren are just young enough to have grown up with an Internet-connected computer in the house. (Not to speak ill of the deceased, but look no further than Ted Stevens’ infamous “series of tubes” speech as evidence.)

The FCC’s rules are close to going into effect, but you can count on the fight over Net neutrality to continue even after they’re officially on the books. The courts should prepare to stay busy for a while.
Via:  Reuters
Tags:  Net Neutrality, FCC
AKwyn 3 years ago

Wow... 194 pages, this is going to take a long time to read fully...

jonation 3 years ago

where is herman cain when you need him...

LLeCompte 3 years ago

i just hope i dont have to pay to come to hot hardware or any other site anytime soon. As long as it stays that way, im fine.

omegadraco 3 years ago

It is going to be interesting to see how ISPs change their TOS documents as soon as these rules go into effect. Interestingly they will not be able to block or throttle lawful services which means no more throttling things like bit-torrent.

ELeach 3 years ago

You need to read the section

"iii. No unreasonable discrimination. Fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic."

"To preserve the Internet’s openness and broadband providers’ ability to manage and expand their networks, we adopt high-level rules embodying four core principles: transparency, no blocking, no unreasonable discrimination, and reasonable network management. "

Until the government decides, or the ISP's decide what the terms "unreasonably discriminate", and "reasonable network management. " the ISP's have free reign, and can still do WHAT THE HELL THEY WANT.

This document has no teeth, only the Congress can provide for penalties, and based upon where all the ISP's money is going that will not happen in our lifetimes UNLESS WE VOTE, VOTE, VOTE.

PhantomGeek 3 years ago

So I guess we just wait to see what happens *crosses fingers for a desirable outcome*

RGallagher 3 years ago

This is such bullshit. The internet shouldn't be governed by laws. It's just another way for them to take more rights from us.

Manduh 3 years ago

Is this world wide? or just in the U.S.?

omegadraco 3 years ago

@Manduh if it is the FCC than it would be the U.S. only the question is how much this will impact the rest of the world considering much of the heart of the internet is within the confines of the U.S. networks. Only time will tell.

AKwyn 3 years ago

Okay... Sorry to bump this thread but I just read through the entire document of the Net Neutrality rules and I have to say that I mostly agree with what they're saying.

I mean the document goes into detail about how fines affect a persons ability to switch, how certain acts play a part in the internet's growth and control and how the internet can also affect the media that we watch today. I mean I agree with the transparency, the rules for lawful sharing of content, the elimination of P2P blocking, I even agree with what they're going to do to mobile broadband (which is an important part of the internet by the way.)

One thing I still disagree on is the copyright thing. I mean we still don't know what's lawful and what's not and unless that's all cleared up than the ISP's will still have free reign to decide which is bad and which is not. I mean sure, all the other points are covered (and referenced under various acts enacted under various years.) and they even covered how it effected schools and public institutions. But I don't know if I want to support this knowing that the laws stated can't supersede the ISP's judgement when it comes to unlawful judgement.

Still, I mostly agree with what they're saying and they do go into detail with it; I mean they cover things that I didn't think mattered, such as Fiber services and such.

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