Net neutrality lives, for now: A divided FCC approved new rules today meant to prohibit broadband companies from interfering with Internet traffic flowing to their customers. The rules, however, are likely to face scrutiny in next year's Congress, and the issue will likely ultimately decided in the courts. The FCC's three Democrats voted to pass the rules, while the two Republicans opposed them, arguing that they amount to unnecessary regulation.
In broad strokes, the rules prohibit phone and cable companies from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services, such as those from rivals. FCC chief Julius Genachowski said the regulations will prohibit broadband providers from abusing their control over the on-ramps that consumers use to get onto the Internet. He said the companies won't be able to determine where their customers can go and what they can do online. Public interest groups decried the regulations as too weak, particularly for wireless systems. For what Al Franken thinks, click here.