In a split vote, the Federal Communications Commission approved Tuesday the nation’s first legislation aimed at addressing the way that phone, cable and Internet companies interact when it comes to Internet traffic. But despite the commission’s historic 3 to 2 vote to pass the Net Neutrality order, Congress or the courts may end up unraveling the work.
And for proponents of Net neutrality, a less than optimal situation could get worse. Net neutrality supporters are already less than thrilled by the provisions of the order, noting they don’t go far enough in granting equal protection to folks who rely on mobile broadband access compared to those who use fixed broadband pipes.
A divided Federal Communications Commission has approved new rules intended to prohibit broadband companies from interfering with the speed of their customers’ Internet traffic. The FCC’s three Democrats voted to pass the rules, which they say are good for consumers, while the two Republicans opposed them, arguing that they amount to unnecessary regulation.
The new rules codify FCC guidelines that instruct network carriers not to block or discriminate against Internet content providers, while giving them broad latitude to experiment with measures that might include differential pricing or traffic controls to manage their networks – with the understanding that the FCC will investigate and punish carriers it thinks have abused the rules.