FCC Poised to Pass Net Neutrality Rules

'Fake' neutrality plan doesn't go far enough, critics say

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 21, 2010 5:37 AM CST

(Newser) – New rules aimed at prohibiting broadband providers from becoming gatekeepers of Internet traffic now have just enough votes to pass the Federal Communications Commission today. The new "net neutrality" rules would prohibit phone and cable companies from abusing their control over broadband connections to discriminate against rival content or services, such as Internet phone calls or online video, or play favorites with Web traffic.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski now has the three votes needed for approval, despite firm opposition from the two Republicans on the five-member commission. Genachowski's two fellow Democrats said yesterday they will vote for the rules, even though they consider them too weak. Public interest groups also say the new rules don't go far enough, complaining that the "fake net neutrality" proposal has far too many loopholes, including one giving wireless carriers much more scope to manage data traffic than fixed-line carriers.

 The new FCC rules will create two classes of Internet access, broadband and wireless carriers.
The new FCC rules will create two classes of Internet access, broadband and wireless carriers.   (AP Photo/File)
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The open Internet is a crucial American marketplace, and I believe that it is appropriate for the FCC to safeguard it by adopting an order that will establish clear rules to protect consumers' access. - FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

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