U.S. FCC approves so-called ‘net-neutrality’ regulations

Free FedEx Overnight + Up to $700 Off Instantly “U.S. regulators banned Internet service providers led by AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. from blocking or slowing Web content sent to homes and businesses, while allowing mobile phone companies to put limits on traffic,” Todd Shields reports for Bloomberg.

“The Federal Communications Commission approved the so- called net-neutrality rules by a vote of three to two today,” Shields reports. “Supporters argued that Internet providers, which also own some of the content they deliver online, may interfere with videos and services owned by others such as Google Inc. ‘Today’s decision will help preserve the free and open nature of the Internet while encouraging innovation, protecting consumer choice and defending free speech,’ President Barack Obama said in a statement released today by the White House.”

“Stephen Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Inc. who traveled to Washington from his home near San Francisco to attend today’s FCC vote, told reporters after the meeting that the FCC should have passed more restrictive rules,” Shields reports. “For example, Internet-service providers may block online consumers from receiving movies streamed by Netflix, forcing users to watch movies owned by the telecommunications and telephone companies, Wozniak said. ‘Every normal person in the United States knows this,’ he said.”

“Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker, one of two Republicans to vote against the regulations, called the rules an overreach. ‘There is no factual basis to support government intervention,’ she said. “The majority’s approach will inhibit the ability of networks to freely evolve and experiment,'” Shields reports. “Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate’s Republican leader, called the vote ‘a first step in controlling how Americans use the Internet.’ Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican who is to become chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee when Congress convenes next year, said he would work ‘to strike down the FCC’s brazen effort to regulate the Internet.'”

Shields reports, “‘The FCC does not have the legal authority to issue these rules,’ Robert McDowell, the other Republican commissioner at the FCC, said during the meeting today. ‘This new effort will fail in court.’ Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, said in an e-mailed statement she would ask Congress to revoke the rules, calling them ‘an unprecedented power-grab by the unelected members’ of the FCC.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Back in April of this year, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal authority to impose so-called “net neutrality” regulations. Read more via CNET: Court: FCC has no power to regulate Net neutrality – April 6, 2010

65 Comments

  1. Tis merely step one toward true net neutrality.

    Anyone who believes that the ISP’s aren’t going to choke off competing services need to have their head checked.

    “Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate’s Republican leader, called the vote ‘a first step in controlling how Americans use the Internet.'”

    Uhhhh…..an example to back up your assinine statement???

    Oh, I forgot, logic need not apply in the U.S. Senate.

    “‘The FCC does not have the legal authority to issue these rules,’ Robert McDowell, the other Republican commissioner at the FCC, said during the meeting today.”

    FCC = Federal Communications Commission
    Yeah, NO ONE uses the internet to communicate. Makes perfect sense.

  2. Ever notice when it’s something “we” understand like net neutrality, we are able to discern all the BS and double speak. We know when “they” are full of it.

    Now just imagine how much BS is buried in something we can barely comprehend like a 2000 page health care bill.

    “We need to pass the law so we can figure out what’s in it.”
    – paraphrasing Nancy Pelosi

    The usual suspects are all over the place on this one.

    I don’t agree with Republicans. Keeping the net free and traffic neutral is vital. I don’t think they get it at all. The entertainment industry is largely ANTI Net Neutrality, they of course want the right to figure out how to charge everyone multiple times for every bit that flows through the wires and they contribute heavily to the Democratic party.

    When I read the FCC policy, I don’t see how anyone can block NetFlix, which is the popular example because of the NetFlix vs. Com cast war.

    What a mess.

  3. Cubert
    It’s not simple.
    And no, the ISPs are not planning on choking bandwidth, just raising the price of it to make up for lost revenue regardless what the FCC ruled.

    We are actually I’m the process of implementing DOCSIS 3 to add more and faster bandwidth to compete for the business, not take away service.

    That would be like a store having shorter shopping hours at Christmas to save on payroll.

    It sounds good as a conspiracy but is a stupid business move.

  4. The Democrats are at least ashamed enough to put fig leaves on this move, when the Teapublicans take power we’ll log on to Google’s Internet brought to you by Verizon. I for one do not welcome our new big money overlords.

  5. Cubert…

    You should learn to read more.

    The FCC has ZERO authority, just like the court stated. Just cause FCC has communication in it’s name, does not mean it can regulate ALL communication.

    FCC was setup in 1910 for telephone communication.
    It has been given greater control over phone, and television service. Point out to us all where it was given any control over the Internet.
    The last major change to the FCC was in 1996… And it did not include the Internet.
    The court is correct, FCC does not have the authority.

  6. @ theloniousMac
    It’s very simple when you read the policy carefully:
    – Wired (dsl or cable) internet providers cannot block or throttle certain applications other than peer-to-peer they believe is being used to violate copyright. There’s some net neutrality.
    – WireLESS providers — the kind of broadband most who live in rural areas will eventually have to buy — are allowed to regulate traffic and charge for access at both ends of the pipe; i.e. a wireless Comcast can reduce NetFlix throughput unless NetFlix pays extra and Comcast can charge you more to receive NetFlix than its own video service. Here’s net neutrality being killed.

    @ X
    Pardon me, your monumental stupidity is showing yet again.

  7. @ Backlash

    Section 230 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which “authorizes the FCC to regulate interstate wire and radio ‘commerce in communication'” states:
    “(b) POLICY.—It is the policy of the United States—
    (1) to promote the continued development of the Internet and other interactive computer services and other interactive media;
    (2) to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation;”

    The FCC actions are base on this act. It will be interesting to see how the courts interpret the scope of the FCC’s power given by the law.

  8. TowerTone,
    I can’t see any reason that Comcast (for example) wouldn’t intentionally slow down downloads to your Apple TV because they offer a competing on-demand service. The consumer’s only recourse would be to switch to Verizon FIOS (there is nothing else in my area) which sucks balls.

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