U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski will announce a plan Wednesday (Dec. 1) that prevents Internet service providers (ISPs) from favoring or discriminating against any traffic that passes through their networks. However, the plan does not include changing the method the FCC uses to regulate broadband providers. Genachowski says the FCC has "a sound legal basis" to try to attain net neutrality guidelines that would keep networking companies from blocking or loading certain websites faster than others.
Genachowski has shifted his strategy from last summer when he wanted to reclassify broadband to something similar to the more strictly regulated phone service, but was rebuffed by a federal appeals court and strongly opposed by ISPs. However, the new plan could still face legal challenges, and many Republicans have criticized any extended Internet regulation as anti-business. The FCC's five-member commission will vote on the proposal on Dec. 21.
The rules are not as strict for mobile carriers, which under the plan would be prohibited from stopping competing voice and video applications, but would not have the same rules as cable and telecom companies against servicing certain sites and applications on their networks.
From The Washington Post
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