Yesterday the FCC approved new rules to guarantee at least a watered-down version of net neutrality for wired internet connections.
The order has not been publicly released, but here are three articles (best first) that you can read to get up-to-date on what is known and how people are reacting:
- Chloe Albanesius for PCMag.com: What Do the FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules Mean for You?
- Cecilia Kang in the Washington Post’s Post Tech: FCC passes first net neutrality rules
- Brian Stelter in the New York Times’ MediaDecoder: F.C.C. Approves Net Rules and Braces for Fight
Two key issues in the ongoing controversy are “paid prioritization” and whether net neutrality will be enforced for wireless services. Senator Al Franken, an outspoken proponent of net neutrality, touched on both in a statement he issued expressing his disappointment at what transpired. In part, he said:
The FCC’s action today is simply inadequate to protect consumers or preserve the free and open Internet. I am particularly disappointed to learn that the order will not specifically ban paid prioritization, allowing big companies to pay for a fast lane on the Internet and abandoning the foundation of net neutrality. The rule also contains almost no protections for mobile broadband service, remaining silent on the blocking of content, applications, and devices. Wireless technology is the future of the Internet, and for many rural Minnesotans, it’s often the only choice for broadband.
But while the rules don’t explicitly ban paid prioritization, they do ban unreasonable discrimination, at least for hardwired internet access. Chloe at PCMag explains what that might mean:
Among those things that would probably be unreasonable? Paid prioritization. The whole idea behind net neutrality is that everyone has equal access to the Web; a wealthy company like Amazon should not be able to pay to have their Web site load faster than a mom-and-pop e-commerce site. While this practice of paid prioritization is not strictly banned in the net neutrality rules, the FCC said yesterday that it would likely be deemed unreasonable.