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FCC Approves Net-Neutrality Rules

By The Washington Post

December 22, 2010

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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed net neutrality regulations that require Internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all Web content equally. For example, the rules prevent ISPs from blocking streaming videos from other companies or interfering with purchases from online retailers. However, they do not extend to wireless carriers, a decision that drew criticism from consumer groups and net neutrality supporters.

The new measures were backed by President Obama, who made an election campaign promise to establish net neutrality. "Today's decision will help preserve the free and open nature of the Internet while encouraging innovation, protecting consumer choice, and defending free speech," Obama says. However, the regulations were met with strong opposition from Republican lawmakers, many of which vowed to overturn them. In addition, cable and telecommunications companies are expected to file lawsuits challenging the FCC's authority.

The regulations were intended to divide net neutrality rules between standard broadband and wireless communications networks in an attempt to appease both supporters and opponents of net neutrality, says FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. "I reject both extremes in favor of a strong and sensible framework—one that protects Internet freedom and openness and promotes robust innovation and investment," Genachowski says.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA

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