Some Readers Won't Digest the FCC's Net Neutrality Rules - The UpStream

Some Readers Won't Digest the FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

posted Sunday Oct 25, 2009 by Jon Wurm

Some Readers Won't Digest the FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

On October 22nd. FCC finally released the rough draft for its Net Neutrality rules which will expand and codify the rules set in 2005 that limited telecom companies from stopping customers from using specific services such as conference calling and adult chat lines. Currently, the only way they are allowed to block services or devices is if they are "harmful" to the network. The rules are also expanding to broadband internet providers who will also not be able to limit how their customers use the internet. That's not all folks, Net Neutrality is going WiFi by extending its reach to networks like 3G, satellite and WiMax. They will have a little more leeway in shaping bandwidth but it only must pertain to better managing the network. Also, telecom companies and ISPs will be required to send reports on how they manage their networks to the FCC. The 107 page proposal will be open for debate for the next 60 days giving lobbyists on both sides plenty of time to try and change the wording in their favor. The Open Internet Coalition with members such as Facebook and Google welcomed the new proposals while others like Apple and AT&T are less than excited. Here is the proposed text to the rules which are up for vote:

1. Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not prevent any of its users from sending or receiving the lawful content of the user's choice over the Internet.

2. Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not prevent any of its users from running the lawful applications or using the lawful services of the user's choice.

For the rest of the list, hit the break.

3. Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not prevent any of its users from connecting to and using on its network the user's choice of lawful devices that do not harm the network.

4. Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not deprive any of its users of the user's entitlement to competition among network providers, application providers, service providers, and content providers.

5. Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service must treat lawful content, applications, and services in a nondiscriminatory manner.

6. Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service must disclose such information concerning network management and other practices as is reasonably required for users and content, application, and service providers to enjoy the protections specified in this part.

Carriers, however, are still able use "reasonable network management" to control their networks. And the needs of law enforcement and "homeland security" also trump these rules.

Reasonable network management consists of: (a) reasonable practices employed by a provider of broadband Internet access service to (i) reduce or mitigate the effects of congestion on its network or to address quality-of-service concerns; (ii) address traffic that is unwanted by users or harmful; (iii) prevent the transfer of unlawful content; or (iv) prevent the unlawful transfer of content; and (b) other reasonable network management practices.

There is so much more going on that what I can describe here so I urge you to at least take a gander at the FCC proposal as this does and will effect us all.

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