The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to approve new rules on how the internet should be governed. New rules will prohibit internet service providers from discriminating against content producers.
“Who determines how you use the internet? Who decides what content you can view and when? Should there be a single internet or fast lanes and slow lanes? Should internet service providers be left free to slow down or throttle certain applications or content as they see fit? Should your access to the internet on your mobile device have the same protections as your fixed device at home?” Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said.
Net neutrality rules will approve FCC to control the internet under Title II of the Communications Act, as the traditional telecommunications are governed already under law.
The main changes for broadband providers are as follows:
- Broadband access is being reclassified as a telecommunications service, meaning it will be subject to much heavier regulation
- Broadband providers cannot block or speed up connections for a fee
- Internet providers cannot strike deals with content firms, known as paid prioritisation, for smoother delivery of traffic to consumers
- Interconnection deals, where content companies pay broadband providers to connect to their networks, will also be regulated
- Firms which feel that unjust fees have been levied can complain to the FCC. Each one will be dealt with on a case by case basis
- All of the rules will also apply to mobile providers as well as fixed line providers
- The FCC won’t apply some sections of the new rules, including price controls
“It is a defining moment, but it will be redefined by the courts, Congress and other entities including the marketplace going forward,” said Gary Arlen, a research analyst, told USA Today.