Michael Grotticelli /
09.19.2011 01:04 PM
White House to publish “net neutrality” rules

The FCC’s controversial new “net neutrality” rules for the Internet adopted late last year have gotten White House clearance to be published in the Federal Register — a move that is expected to ignite legal challenges.

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget gave approval to the new rules last week. This step was necessary before the rules are published in the Federal Register, which will take another two to three weeks.

The “net neutrality” rules attempt to balance fair treatment of competing content with the need for Internet providers to manage their networks. The rules were considerably weakened from what the Obama administration campaigned for in 2008, but are still controversial with the major Internet service providers who want no government regulation. The rules go into effect 60 days after publication.

The new regulations would prohibit ISPs from blocking access to lawful content. They also would require transparency on mobile broadband providers’ policies on throttling data. Verizon currently forces customers to use plan minutes rather than data for mobile VoIP apps such as Skype, and blocks access to Google on some handsets with Microsoft’s Bing pre-installed.

Verizon and MetroPCS Communications both accused the FCC of overstepping its authority in a challenge shortly after the FCC’s 3-2 vote. But, a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last April found the challenges premature since they came prior to publication of the rules in the Federal Register.

The same court also ruled last year that the FCC lacked the authority to stop Comcast from blocking bandwidth-hogging applications on its broadband network. That decision led to the FCC’s latest rules.

The debate has focused on a huge divide between those who say the Internet should flourish without regulation and those who say the power of high-speed Internet providers to discriminate against competitors needs to be restrained.

The delay between the FCC’s vote and official publication was unusually long, prompting some industry sources and former regulators to accuse the commission of intentional foot-dragging to stall court challenges. The FCC, however, attributed the delay to data collection requirements that were subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act review process.

Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found

Tuesday 03:07 PM
WMUR-TV Says FAA Drone Rules Preclude ENG
The FAA’s current rules and proposed ban on flight over people, requirement of visual line of sight and restriction on nighttime flying, effectively prohibit broadcasters from using UAS for newsgathering. ~ WMUR-TV General Manager Jeff Bartlett

Sue Sillitoe, White Noise PR /   Friday 11:15 AM
DPA Microphones Expands Its d:facto™ Vocal Microphone Range
Wall Street Communications /   Friday 04:20 PM
SMPTE 2015 NAB Show Preview

Featured Articles
Discover TV Technology