FCC Votes in Favor of Net Neutrality Rules, Classifies Broadband Service as a Utility

FCCThe U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted in favor by a 3-to-2 decision to enforce net neutrality rules that it claims will help protect freedom of expression and innovation on the Internet, reports Ars Technica. The FCC ruling classifies broadband service as a utility and prevents Internet providers from blocking or throttling traffic or offering prioritized service through so-called Internet "fast lanes" for payment.

"The Internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet. It is simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field," said FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. "Think about it. The Internet has replaced the functions of the telephone and the post office. The Internet has redefined commerce, and as the outpouring from four million Americans has demonstrated, the Internet is the ultimate vehicle for free expression. The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules."

The ruling will reclassify fixed and mobile broadband as a telecommunications service, and Internet providers will be regulated under Title II of the Communications Act. The decision was heavily contested by Internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, which could sue the FCC in an attempt to reverse the new rules. FCC officials believe that Type II reclassification will give them more legal authority to prevent net neutrality rules from being overturned.

While the new requirements are intended to ensure that the Internet remains fast, fair and open, the FCC did not follow through with last-mile unbundling that would have required Internet service providers to sell wholesale access to their networks. That decision would have allowed new competitors to enter local markets and sell broadband service using the existing infrastructure of larger providers such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

"But the FCC decided not to impose unbundling," adds Ars Technica. "As such, the vote does little to boost Internet service competition in cities or towns. But it's an attempt to prevent incumbent ISPs from using their market dominance to harm online providers, including those who offer services that compete against the broadband providers' voice and video services."

The FCC's order on Thursday could be faced with legal challenges and action from Congress, according to the report, suggesting that debate surrounding net neutrality is far from over. The new rules will go into effect 60 days after being published in the U.S. Federal Register, although the Office of Management and Budget will continue to manage enhancements to the transparency rule.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
70 months ago

Newsflash, Barack Obama is the worst President in U.S. history, has singlehandedly done more damage than good, and the country may take anywhere from 10-25 years to recover from his 8 years of corruption, if it can at all. At a point in history when so many things in this world are at crucial turning points, we have possibly gone into the dark ages of American Communism.




LOL thanks, I needed a good laugh.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
70 months ago
Net Neutrality is used as a power grab. This does not help us as consumers. It hurts us. Just another way for the current administration to tell you what to do and what's in your best interest. This is just step one.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
70 months ago

Net Neutrality is used as a power grab. This does not help us as consumers. It hurts us. Just another way for the current administration to tell you what to do and what's in your best interest. This is just step one.


Please elaborate.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
70 months ago

Thats a shame. Lets hope the courts again take the sane position restrain this federal overreach.


Not going to happen. The Court that ruled the FCC lacked authority under the previous classification already acknowledged in their ruling that the FCC does have the power to reclassify under Title II and thus enforce net neutrality rules.

How is it an example of federal overreach? The Internet is global. It significantly affects interstate commerce. The Federal Government is the only entity in the U.S. that can effectively protect it.

Newsflash, Barack Obama is the worst President in U.S. history, has singlehandedly done more damage than good, and the country may take anywhere from 10-25 years to recover from his 8 years of corruption, if it can at all. At a point in history when so many things in this world are at crucial turning points, we have possibly gone into the dark ages of American Communism.


It didn't take long to mention the 'C' word. You have no idea what you're talking about.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
70 months ago

I bet 99.9% of the U.S. population has zero idea of what this FCC ruing really means or how it will affect them personally. That includes me.

Put it this way: Comcast owns NBC Universal and its programming. So when you're streaming Parks and Recreation reruns on Hulu, complete with advertising, they're making money from you. They're not going to do anything to hinder your Hulu streaming experience.

You watch one episode, get bored, and decide to start browsing MacRumors. Comcast has no stake in MR and makes no money off of it. Without Net Neutrality, they could slow down access to MR to the point where you're like "Damn, this site is completely unusable. I guess it's back to watching Parks and Rec" - unless you pay more for unrestricted access to sites. Or if MacRumors paid a ransom to Comcast to unrestrict their site for all Comcast customers.

No NN would almost allow them to set up speed tiers for different sites: You would get 50 MBPS for Hulu and anything else that makes Comcast money. 25 MBPS for Netflix because Netflix paid a ransom to Comcast. 10 MBPS for Twitter because Twitter also paid a ransom (but not as big as what Netflix paid). 5 MBPS for almost everything else. 3 MBPS for Amazon because Amazon told Comcast to take their ransom request and shove it up their arse, which angered Comcast, 1 MBPS for Skype because it competes with Comcast's landline services, and dial up speeds for AT&T and Verizon's site because they don't want you checking out the competition's pricing.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
70 months ago
GOOD! Consumer wins! Greed loses.
Net Neutrality is fair and here to stay!
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Hands On With iPhone 12 Models Showing New Sizes and Design

Monday July 6, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by
Ahead of the launch of new iPhones we often see dummy models created based on leaked schematics and specifications, with those models designed to let case makers create cases for the new devices ahead of their release. We got our hands on a set of dummy models that represent the iPhone 12 lineup, giving us our first close look at the iPhone 4-style design and the different size options. Subscri ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 2: New Calendar Icon, Files Widget and More

Tuesday July 7, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 14 to developers for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features that are coming in the update. Below, we've rounded up all of the changes that we found in the second beta. - Calendar icon - There's a new Calendar app icon in iOS 14 beta 2, with the day of the week abbreviated rather than spelled out. - Clock icon - The clock...

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Tom Hanks Discusses 'Heartbreaking' Shift of WWII Film Greyhound From Theatrical Blockbuster to Apple TV+ Exclusive

Monday July 6, 2020 7:53 am PDT by
Tom Hanks' WWII drama "Greyhound" is set to premiere on Apple TV+ this Friday, July 10, and ahead of that debut the actor gave an interview with The Guardian discussing the film. "Greyhound" was originally planned to see a theatrical release this summer, and was repeatedly delayed in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Apple won the streaming rights to the film, and in the new...

Developer's Visual Comparison of macOS Catalina and Big Sur Offers Closer Look at Apple's UI Redesign for Macs

Tuesday July 7, 2020 4:00 am PDT by
macOS 11 Big Sur is the next major release of Apple's operating system for Mac, and following its preview at WWDC, one of the biggest discussions has revolved around the all-new user interface redesign. Developers are still learning what the impact the new UI will have on their apps, and with that in mind, app designer Andrew Denty has compiled an extensive visual comparison of the user...

5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Model Size Compared to Original iPhone SE and iPhone 7

Saturday July 4, 2020 9:44 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 dummy models based on leaked schematics have been starting to circulate online and in online marketplaces. Not happy with the circulating size comparisons between the rumored 5.4" iPhone 12 and the original iPhone SE models, MacRumors forum user iZac took matters into his own hands and purchased his own 5.4" dummy model to provide more detailed size comparisons between the original...

Shipping Estimates for 27-Inch iMac Continue to Slip, Now Into September

Monday July 6, 2020 6:55 am PDT by
Amid rumors and hints of a forthcoming update for the iMac, supplies of Apple's current 27-inch iMac continue to dwindle with mid- and high-end stock configurations now seeing shipping estimates pushed back into September. The 27-inch iMac has seen tight supplies and extended shipping estimates for months now, but the situation has been gradually worsening to the point where new buyers can...

Apple Cuts iPhone Trade-In Values as iPhone 12 Launch Nears

Tuesday July 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
With just two months to go until the usual timeframe for Apple's iPhone launch events, Apple is cutting back on maximum trade-in values of previous-generation iPhones for those looking to upgrade to a new model. Maximum values on more recent models have dropped by $30–$50, while older models have generally dropped by $5–$20 with a few models seeing no change in value.iPhone XS Max: $500 to...

Analyst Believes iPhone 12 Pricing Will Start $50 Higher Even Without EarPods or Charger in Box

Wednesday July 8, 2020 9:35 am PDT by
Despite multiple reports indicating that Apple will not include EarPods or a wall charger with iPhone 12 models this year, one analyst believes that pricing will still increase slightly compared to the iPhone 11 lineup. In a research note provided to MacRumors, analyst Jeff Pu forecasted that iPhone 12 pricing will start at $749 for a new 5.4-inch model, an increase of $50 over the base...

14-Inch MacBook Pro With Mini-LED Display Expected to Enter Production in 2021

Wednesday July 8, 2020 7:51 am PDT by
Apple suppliers will begin competing to win manufacturing orders for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays in the first quarter of 2021, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. Rumors of a 14-inch MacBook Pro have surfaced since Apple replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a new 16-inch model last year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that...