FCC announces new net neutrality standards


How net traffic is managed now has some rules - but just about everyone has a problem with the FCC Net Neutrality ideals. Image: Wikimedia Commons

In a long-awaited announcement today, the FCC approved net neutrality standards on a 3-2 vote. The six-pronged net neutrality rules were called “strong and balanced” by the FCC. Critics on both sides, however, have lambasted the rules, which will likely be argued next in court.

Six tenents to FCC net neutrality

Chairman of the FCC Julius Genachowski announced this morning that the Federal Communications Commission had approved a new set of net neutrality rules. These rules were the result of over seven years of debate. The six basic FCC rules of net neutrality are:

  1. A right to know the basic performance characteristics of  Internet access and how their network is being managed.
  2. A right to send and receive lawful traffic.
  3. A right to a level playing field. No central authority, public or private, should have the power to pick winners and losers.
  4. Broadband providers need meaningful flexibility to manage their networks to deal with congestion, security, and other issues.
  5. The principle of Internet openness applies to mobile broadband.  There is one Internet, and it must remain an open platform, however consumers and innovators access it.
  6. Create an Open Internet Advisory Committee that will assist the Commission in monitoring the state of Internet openness and the effects of our rules.

Loopholes in net neutrality rules

Many critics have called the new FCC net neutrality rules “too full of loopholes.” The rules leave space open for mobile broadband to be “throttled” or limited, and call to simply “watch for abuse.” Consumer advocates are also saying that the rules are subject to easy manipulation, and without strong enforcement, they could very well be abused.

Republican criticism of net neutrality rules

Though consumer advocates are unhappy with the new rules approved by the FCC, the Republican leadership of Congress have also come out against the rules. John Boehner, the House Republican leader, released a statement saying that the net neutrality rules would “stifle innovation and entrepreneurship.” The statement also calls the new rules a “government takeover” that “puts bureaucrats in charge of the Internet.” Reports are that Verizon Wireless and other companies are considering tying up the FCC net neutrality rules in court.


Official FCC Statement

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