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White House clears the way for net neutrality protection

updated 09:50 am EDT, Tue September 13, 2011

New FCC rules limit throttling, content blocking

The White House Office of Management and Budget approved the Federal Communication Commission's proposed net neutrality rules on Friday, setting the stage for a certain court challenge by wireless broadband providers. Verizon and MetroPCS have already tried to block the new rules in Federal court once, as soon as they were announced. Those cases were dismissed on appeal in April, with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling that any challenges would be premature until the regulations had been published in the Federal Register. Publication generally happens within three weeks of approval by OMB.

The period between the FCC vote on the rules and submission to OMB has been unusually long. An FCC spokesman says the wait was due to requirements of the Federal Paperwork Reduction Act. Critics, including Energy and Commerce chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Telecom subpanel chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) point to the length of the interval as evidence that the regulations are overly burdensome, costly, and intrusive.

The new regulations would prohibit ISPs from blocking access to lawful content. They also would require transparency on mobile broadband providers policies on throttling data. Verizon currently forces customers to use plan minutes rather than data for mobile VoIP apps such as Skype, and blocks access to Google on some handsets with Bing pre-installed.

Once published, the new rules will go into effect in 60 days. A renewed court challenge by Verizon and Metro PCS is widely expected. [via Reuters]

by MacNN Staff




    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is Good!

    Great news. Hopefully the courts will tell Verizon and others to shove it and let the new rule stand.

  1. facebook_Jan

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011


    on net neutrality

    On the subject of net neutrality, Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, recently said: “It’s a debate that is going on in the Congress, and it’s really: Is the Internet going to be something that everyone has free and open access to, or, is it going to be something that is sort of controlled? What we don’t need is a lot of government control in the businesses of the internet. I think what we need is more of what we have with National Public Radio, which is a really true and balanced set of reporting that unfortunately has become politicized. What we are seeing is a shift from “anything goes” on the Internet to a shift where major corporations are shaping the news outlets and buying up more and more of the news outlets and putting them under corporate control and one set of a small number of hands.... We need freeware, we need shareware, and we need open access. People need to be able to trust sources that they can find on the internet, rather than have them controlled in a small number of hands or by the government.” (Gibson appeared on the Charlottesville, VA, interview program Politics Matters with host Jan Paynter discussing journalism

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