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FCC Finally Defines Net Neutrality Rules

After much debate the FCC has finally defined Net Neutrality rules. The FCC has summarized the rules as follows.

First, transparency: fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of their broadband services. Second, no blocking: fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services. Third, no unreasonable discrimination: fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.

I am particularly confused about the leeway given towards mobile broadband. The third point about unreasonable discrimination towards lawful network traffic does not apply to them. Off the top of my head I cannot think how this could happen, but why leave that hole open? And technically, can’t mobile broadband providers block services or applications?

I am a bit unclear on what the third point actually means. Does this mean that fixed broadband providers are prohibited from altering content prior to delivery. This is a very uncommon and has obvious trademark issues, but it has happened to Google.

As someone that has followed this issue very closely I am still very confused as to how people have been interpreting this as a “government takeover of the Internet”. The list above sounds to me like it should foster competition. I’m happy.

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Brian is the Director of Development and Social Media for Brand Builder Websites where he oversees the development, strategy, and goals for our software development. He is also a huge fan of Android.
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