Net Neutrality Rules Appear Headed For Approval (B&C)

Senior Federal Communications Commission officials said Monday that the new expansion and codification of network neutrality rules will include a presumption that paid prioritization on the public Internet is discrimination prevented by the FCC’s new rules. The order implements three basic rules: 1) a transparency rule that requires fixed and wireless broadband service providers to provide relevant information about their services to both consumers and content, applications, and device providers; 2) a no-blocking rule that prevents fixed broadband providers from blocking content, applications, services, or devices, subject to “reasonable network management,” and in the mobile space prevents the blocking of access to Web sites and applications that compete with voice or video telephony services, also subject to reasonable network management; and 3) a rule, applying only to fixed broadband, that prevents unreasonable discrimination by broadband providers in delivering the traffic on their networks. Wired: Republicans, including FCC commissioner Robert McDowell, blasted the new rules as an interventionist over-reach by an activist federal regulator intent on asserting control over the Internet. Democrats, including Sen. Al Franken from Minnesota, along with public-interest and free-speech groups, slammed the rules as woefully inadequate to protect the public from the predations of an industry keen on turning the Internet into a cyber-version of cable TV, with tiers and premium packages affordable by the wealthy.

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