FCC Approves Net Neutrality

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Washington - Dec 21, 2010 - Net neutrality, the effort to ensure that all Internet users have equal access, has been approved by the FCC. The FCC voted 3-2 in favor of adopting the new rules. Immediately, debates began saying the rules don't go far enough or they go too far.

The basics of the ruling say that Internet providers must treat all types of Web content equally. This is to prevent service providers from hindering or pushing certain content from users. The primary example involves a provider restricting access to a competing website or app while increasing access to its own website or app. This gated access could also be linked to paying more to guarantee access.

But even as the rule is adopted, the debates continue. Some, including FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, argue the rule doesn't go far enough. Copps says the rule does not absolutely prevent broadband providers from creating pay-for-priority status. The regulations say this practice generally violates nondiscrimination rules.

The commission's three Democrats voted to concur with the rules and the two Republicans voted against them. Meanwhile, Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell says the action puts the FCC on a collision course with the courts, which he predicted will throw the rules out.

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