Friday, December 24, 2010

FCC's Net Neutrality Rules Released in Full. Are the wireless carriers going to have to play by the rules?

If the last rule is going to have any teeth, the penalties need to take a bite out of their profits. If the penalties are anything like the penalties that have been levied against the wireless services providers in the past, then they'll be smiling all the way to the bank.
Amplify’d from
As you may have heard, this week the FCC approved net neutrality rules that sought to strike compromise between Internet companies, broadband providers and consumers. The nitty-gritty starts on page 27 of the document, but here's the gist:
No Discrimination: Wired broadband providers may not speed up or slow down individual types of lawful traffic, with exceptions for reasonable network management. No such rules apply to wireless broadband.
As the Washington Post's Cecilia Kang notes, one of the major sticking points is that last rule, which would govern deals between an Internet company and a broadband provider for faster delivery (also known as "paid prioritization"). Although the rules allow for paid prioritization, these deals would "raise significant cause for concern" according to the FCC, and would be subject to increased scrutiny.
How will the FCC's rules be enforced? Using the same process as its cable access complaint rules, the FCC will allow users to submit formal complaints, which are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. In most cases the burden of proof will be on users, but based on the evidence, the FCC can also make Internet providers prove they weren't breaking the rules. The FCC believes it can "issue citations and impose forfeiture penalties for violations of our rules." See page 82 of the document for more on enforcement.

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