A Nation In Distress

A Nation In Distress

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Federal Government's Internet Power Grab Begins: FCC Approves Internet Regulations

From Big Government:

Government’s Internet Grab Begins: FCC Approves Internet Regulationsby Publius

From the AFP:

The five-member Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the rules aimed at safeguarding “network neutrality,” the principle that lawful Web traffic should be treated equally, by a 3-2 vote at an open meeting here.

The three Democrats on the panel voted in favor of the rules, which are likely to face legal challenges, while the two Republicans voted against them.

“Our action will advance our goal of having America’s broadband networks be the freest and fastest in the world,” said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.

The rules are a balancing act by the FCC between support for consumers and the cable and telephone companies that are the major Internet Service Providers in the United States.

The rules are intended to prevent Internet providers from discriminating among lawful Web traffic, providing their own content at a faster speed, for example, than that of a rival.

The most controversial of the rules involve the FCC taking a different approach to fixed broadband and mobile broadband, giving wireless providers greater freedom to manage their networks because of limited spectrum.

Under the new rules, both fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose their network management practices and their commercial terms.

Fixed broadband providers are subject to a “no blocking” provision, prohibiting them from blocking lawful content, applications or services.

They also may not “unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.”

Defending the decision not to apply the same rules to wireless networks, the FCC cited the spectrum issue and said mobile broadband is at an “earlier stage” than fixed broadband and is “quickly evolving.”

And this, related, from Gateway Pundit:
FCC Democrats Seize Control of Internet- Pass Net Neutralityfrom Gateway Pundit by Jim HoftRemember: Democrats are only happy when they can tax you or control you.

Today the three democrats on the FCC passed their net neutrality law.

It will likely face a court challenge.

Reuters reported:

U.S. communications regulators adopted Internet traffic rules on Tuesday that prevent providers from blocking lawful content but still let them ration access to their networks.

The Federal Communications Commission approved the “Open Internet” order after FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s plan got the support of fellow Democrats Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn.

The rules aim to strike a balance between the interests of Internet service providers, content companies and consumers, but some industry analysts think a court challenge is still likely.

At issue is whether regulators need to guarantee that all stakeholders continue to have reasonable access to the Internet, a principle often called “net neutrality,” or whether the Internet is best left to flourish unregulated.

The FCC’s ability to regulate the Internet has been in doubt since an appeals court in April said the agency lacked the authority to stop cable company Comcast Corp from blocking bandwidth-hogging applications.

Senior FCC officials have said they will invoke new legal arguments not employed in the Comcast case.

The two Republican commissioners at the agency opposed the latest rule-making effort, saying it was unnecessary and would stifle innovation. Robert McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker told an FCC open meeting that they believed the rules would fail in court.

There was disagreement on whether the F.C.C. had the legal authority to implement the network neutrality rules, and that authority is certain to face legal challenges in the months ahead

Jeremy Kaplan explains how this will end up costing you.

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