FCC Passes Net Neutrality Rules For Wired, Limited Protections for Wireless

By a narrow 3-2 margin, the FCC has just passed a landmark net neutrality proposal spearheaded  by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. The proposal, for the first time will make a distinction between broadbrand Internet  (the service you get from Comcast and Time Warner), and wireless (services provided by the likes of Verizon & AT&T).

On the broadband side, all internet traffic routed over these networks must be treated equally. So whether you’re streaming content from the  soon-to-be-owned-by-Comcast  USA Network, YouTube, or some obscure blog about ducks, in theory, it will all be delivered to you with the same quality and speed. The same, however,  cannot be said for visiting those sites on your EVO 4G.

A key issue sure to raise the feathers of privacy hawks everywhere, deals with the lack of net neutrality rules imposed on wireless Internet providers.  This is largely due to the fact that under current law, the FCC doesn’t officially have the authority to police wireless providers. Once set into law, Verizon or AT&T would be allowed to strike deals with companies to pay a premium to ensure their content was more efficiently delivered over their networks. They would also be allowed to block services, so long as those services don’t compete with services they also provide. Services like Skype cannot be blocked under these new rules, but everyone’s favorite social network could.

However, consumers will have the ability to file anti-competitiveness complaints about wireless providers for free and have those complaints heard by a “Rocket Docket” that makes a decision within 130 days. The nature of the first complaint rulings could determine how much wireless providers can restrict your access to content.

There are arguments on both sides of the aisle regarding fairness and ensuring a competitive eco-system versus the need for companies to protect their billion dollar investments and to reap the profits from these investments. As with most legislative endeavors these days, this proposal attempts to provide a compromise to all parties involved (consumers, content/service creators, and ISPs). It is too early to predict what effects this will have on America’s wired landscape, but either way, it will never look the same again.

LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. PowerSurferNJ Says:

    The fact that congress has passed a law and this reviewer says they can’t “predict what effects this will have on America’s wired landscape” means it’s poorly written law. I’ve read the same sort of comments elsewhere, it’s not this particular writer. Why bother to pass laws without predictable results? Even when laws are supposedly solid, big corporations and lawyers find loopholes. This law is purposefully written for the corporate lobbyists and the public is being scammed.

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE