Internet
Internet connections may not be simply neutral pipelines to get information through. Image: Flickr / rmgimages / CC-BY

The Federal Communications Commission has been considering net neutrality rules for more than a year. On Sept. 23, the rules will be officially published, which would put them in effect on Nov. 20. The rules, however, are likely to be challenged in court.

The new net neutrality rules

The proposed net neutrality rules the FCC plans on publishing are essentially the same as the rules originally proposed back in December of 2010. The FCC summarizes these rules as:

First, transparency: fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of their broadband services. Second, no blocking: fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services. Third, no unreasonable discrimination: fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.

The rules would still allow for network providers to slow down (throttle) bandwidth for some users, or even block some applications on the web services they provide.

Lawsuits planned against net neutrality

Though no lawsuits have yet been refiled against the net neutrality regulations, several are planned. Verizon and MetroPCS Communications both originally filed lawsuits against the net neutrality rules, but the cases were thrown out of court. The judge said that plaintiffs had no standing to file the lawsuit until the rules actually affect them. That means that the rules would have to actually be in effect. Verizon has not announced a date for re-filing the lawsuit, but has indicated that the intention is to do so very soon.

Legislative action expected

Once the FCC has officially published the rules, Republican lawmakers plan on trying to overturn the FCC’s new rules. Lawmakers have expressed concern that putting new limits on broadband access or internet connection providers would put unnecessary restrictions on businesses that are trying to grow in a down economy.

What net neutrality means for customers

For customers that use the web every day, net neutrality rules will have some effect. Generally, it means that no internet connection provider in the United States can block or limit lawful connections. However, this means that the downloading of movies, grey-market gambling websites, and other not-entirely-legal connections may still be at risk of limitations. The new proposed rules also allow mobile providers to slow down connections or block certain kinds of programs if they will significantly slow down the overall connection speed for that network. The likelihood that these rules will actually go into effect on Nov. 20, however, is very low.

Sources:

Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903703604576587073700335538.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-tech/post/fcc-net-neutrality-official-nov-20-lawsuits-expected-to-follow/2011/09/22/gIQARXdWoK_blog.html
ARS Technica: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/09/us-net-neutrality-rules-finalized-in-effect-november-20.ars

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)

Connect

Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from https://personalmoneynetwork.com to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]