Monday, December 27, 2010
FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in a historic vote Tuesday, approved network neutrality rules prohibiting broadband providers from blocking customer access to legal Web content, but many consumer groups decried the new regulations as weak and full of loopholes.
The new rules provide fewer protections for mobile broadband subscribers and may lead to a fractured Internet, critics said. The new rules, a compromise championed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, would bar wireline-based broadband providers -- but not mobile broadband providers -- from "unreasonable discrimination" against Web traffic, prompting some consumer groups to call the rules "fake" net neutrality.
Genachowski's plan, approved after more than seven years of debate about whether net neutrality rules are needed, also contains several loopholes for broadband providers, critics said, including an exception for managed services separate from the public Internet.
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