Federal regulators keep trying to set rules in order to make sure American ISPs don’t block or slow access to any legitimate online content. The FCC claimed it won’t appeal a US court decision which rejected a previous version of the so-called “net neutrality” rules mostly because of the way the FCC had classified ISPs.
The court reaffirmed that the FCC had right to regulate broadband access, and the commission is going to use this right to review how it can bring back non-discrimination and no-blocking regulations while complying with the court order.
The question is whether ISPs can be allowed to charge such giants as Netflix or Google for better service, as this could hurt consumers. FCC believes that the court invited it to preserve a free and open Internet, and the commission is going to accept that invitation by proposing rules which will manage to meet the court’s requirements.
Now FCC is going to negotiate new rules which would make sure that ISPs disclose exactly how they manage Internet traffic and that they don’t unfairly limit users’ ability to surf the network or use applications. The commission promised that the new rules will be finished by early summer.
The recent ruling by the US Court of Appeals spurred concerns that mobile carriers and other network providers could begin charging content providers for faster access to their sites and services. In the meantime, almost all major ISPs promised to continue abiding by the principles of open Internet.
A citizen petition to the White House, calling for ISPs to be treated more like telephone companies, has collected over 100,000 signatures and can give FCC more oversight power. Obama administration had to admit that without net neutrality, the worldwide web could turn into a high-priced private toll road which would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries.
The FCC had classified broadband providers as information service providers rather than telecommunications service providers, and the commission didn’t move to start the reclassification. In the recent court case against the FCC, Verizon had argued that the commission’s existing version of “open internet” rules violated its right to free speech at the very least.