FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

The FCC approves net neutrality rules today, that basically aim to prevent Internet providers from discriminating against legal content.

Net neutrality advocates have argued for a long time that these laws would prevent Internet providers from blocking competitive content, charging for faster connections to certain sites, and other scenarios. While the order does prevent fixed broadband providers from blocking access to sites and applications, the rules are different for wireless providers and not clear.

About 80 net neutrality advocates and organizations signed an open letter to the FCC calling for what they announced as “real net neutrality.”

Harold Feld of Public Knowledge wrote:
On every single important and controversial question on what an ‘open Internet’ actually means, — such as whether companies can create ‘fast lanes’ for ‘prioritized’ content or what exactly wireless providers can and cannot do — the actual language of the rules is silent, ambiguous, or even at odds with the text of the implementing Order.

Along with Harold’s post the open letter argued that this net neutrality order leaves wireless users out in the open and vulnerable to blocking and discrimination.

Wireless companies have seen a problem with the rule. Verizon in particular released a statement that argued government intervention, was the wrong way to go and can destroy the “open web.” Supporting them, Senator Mitch McConnell said that net neutrality would harm investments, bring innovation to a halt and destroy jobs.

Politico reported that after the FCC approved the rules, the Republican party started planning out its repeal, and even though the rules have been approved it is not clear that the FCC even has the authority to enforce the new laws. When the law was brought up last April, the U.S. appeals court ruled that the FCC could not stop Comcast from controlling user traffic of peer-to-peer downloading.