Net Neutrality

FCC Publishes Full Net Neutrality Order And Is Now Available To Read Online

March 12, 2015 - Written By John Anon

One of the big talking (and debating) points over the last year, has been that of Net Neutrality. For those interested (and those not that interested), Net Neutrality has been inescapable over recent times. Even more so during last month when the FCC finally voted on the proposal and approved the decision (with a 3-2 vote) to reclassify broadband under Title II legislation. For those that did manage to avoid the topic but would like a quick recap then here you go. In short, some groups wanted broadband usage (both mobile and home) to be reclassified under title II, which would effectively allow for the service to be regulated. This is often compared to that of utilities to put the type of regulation into perspective. This regulation was primarily touted to allow FCC some legal basis to make sure and enforce carriers to not unnecessarily and unfairly treat certain customers.

The best examples of these unfair treatments are ‘data throttling’ and ‘paid prioritization’. The first, many will know and have experienced personally and refers to when a carrier limits or slows down your connection to the internet. This ‘throttling’ can occur for a number of reasons although one of them is that the data is being throttled to allow others a better, faster or more stable connection. This is often thought of as those who pay more, get more, which is actually the basis of ‘paid prioritization’. The reclassification means that carriers can no longer do such things and instead everyone is expected to be treating more fairly, with the same level of service, regardless of what they pay. Of course, as you would expect, a number of groups were opposed to this reclassification and none more so than the carriers, who tend to see this is a means of the FCC looking to control the internet. Their argument is that the internet should remain uncontrolled and ‘free’. In fact, once the reclassification was voted on, Verizon even showed their distaste for the decision by posting a press release in Morse code. Designed to highlight how the decision was a throwback to yesteryear.

Moving on, the FCC did approve the reclassification and have today made public the official Net Neutrality order which dictates what the reclassification does mean. Interestingly, a lot of people would have preferred to have had this order make public before the vote took place so that the public would be more aware and informed of what the vote actually meant, beyond the vaguer principle argument. However, that was not the case. If you are interesting in reading the now public order in full, then you can by clicking the source link below. Although, you should be warned that it runs a full 400 pages. If you do give it a ready then make sure to let us know what you think.