Net Neutrality Bill Approved By House Committee

While not immediately Mac-related, many readers may be interested in the status of recent legislation regarding "Network Neutrality."

In brief, Network Neutrality is the concept that networks should be "dumb" and treat each type of data traveling over it equally. This is in contrast to an intelligent network where the network knows what kind of data is flowing over it (i.e. peer-to-peer, VoIP, HTTP (web traffic), quicktime streams, etc...), and treats each kind differently depending on its needs or according to external parameters placed by the network administrator.

Issues regarding Network Neutrality heightened in the past decade with the rise of consumers using VPN's and Wi-Fi. In response, some ISP's put restrictions on consumer's use of VPN's and Wi-Fi or routers. In addition, with the rise of VoIP some ISP's have been shaping VoIP traffic in order to "encourage" customers to buy higher-priced plans without VoIP traffic shaping.

Macworld reports that the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has voted 20-13 to approve the "Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act." The Network Neutrality bill will require broadband providers to give independent content providers the same speed and quality of service as they have.

The bill is not without controversy. Some critics have charged that the bill is a step towards regulating the internet which will stifle innovation. There are other critics as well:

This week, the First Response Coalition, a trade group representing police and firefighters, sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee saying that debate over "niche issues" such as net neutrality are slowing down broader telecom reform legislation that would give emergency responders more radio spectrum. "First responders cannot wait any longer to have modern communications and interoperable radios," said the letter.

Competing legislation awaiting action on the House floor approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee in April is a more wide-ranging telecommunications reform bill, but is not as strong in enforcing neutral networks as the recent bill passed by the Judiciary Committee.

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...