FCC Unanimously OKs Net Neutrality Rules

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission has approved by a 5-0 vote rules that would guarantee “net neutrality” for broadband and mobile Internet connections.

The vote doesn’t mean the rules will go into effect automatically. Rather, it kicks off a 60-day period in which the public and lobbyists can weigh in on the proposed regulations.

From Wired‘s Ryan Singel:

The FCC’s five commissioners unanimously agreed to expand and codify rules from 2005 that require cable and DSL providers to allow their customers to use whatever devices or online services they want so long as they don’t hurt the network. A similar rule applied to AT&T’s phone monopoly in the 1960s led to the fax machine, the football phone and the internet.

The leaders of a number of large Internet companies earlier this week implored the FCC to ensure net neutrality, which is opposed by telecommunications providers.

Proponents of net neutrality argue that new regulations are necessary to prevent broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing the delivery of Web content and applications to users. The carriers and some of their supporters in Congress say new government rules and regulations would discourage infrastructure investment and hamper further Internet development.