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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

FCC Passes Rules To Allow Government to Regulate Internet

Looks Like the FCC wants to give the Government more Power, according to an Article in the Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON—Federal telecommunications regulators approved new rules Tuesday that would for the first time give the federal government formal authority to regulate Internet traffic, although how much or for how long remained unclear.

The FCC has approved rules that would give the federal government authority to regulate Internet traffic and prevent broadband providers from selectively blocking web traffic. WSJ's Amy Schatz explains what the new rules really mean.
.A divided Federal Communications Commission approved a proposal by Chairman Julius Genachowski to give the FCC power to prevent broadband providers from selectively blocking web traffic.

The rules will go into effect early next year, but legal challenges or action by Congress could block the FCC's action. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Tuesday called the FCC's action "flawed" and said lawmakers would "have an opportunity in the new Congress to push back against new rules and regulations."

The new FCC rules, for example, would prevent a broadband provider, such as Comcast Corp., AT&T, Inc. or Verizon Communications Inc., from hobbling access to an online video service, such as Netflix, that competes with its own video services.

The rules would also require Internet providers to give subscribers more information on Internet speeds and service. Broadly, the rules would prohibit Internet providers from "unreasonably discriminating" against rivals' Internet traffic or services on wired or wireless networks.

The rules would allow phone and cable companies to offer faster, priority delivery services to Internet companies willing to pay extra. But the FCC proposal contains language suggesting the agency would try to discourage creation of such high-speed toll lanes.

Companies that operate mobile wireless networks would have fewer rules to contend with. Phone companies wouldn't be able to block legal websites from consumers. They also can't block mobile voice or video-conferencing applications. Wireless providers would be allowed to block other applications, however, that they say could take up too much bandwidth on wireless networks.

The five-member Federal Communications Commission board approved the new rules on a 3-2 vote, with the agency's two Republican members rejecting the measure.

"For the first time, we'll have enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Tuesday morning. He said the rules offered "a strong and sensible framework—one that protects Internet freedom and openness and promotes robust innovation and investment."

Republicans at the FCC and on Capitol Hill blasted the FCC's new rules, saying that they could stifle new investments in broadband networks and are unnecessary since there have been few complaints about Internet providers blocking or slowing web traffic."

Why Do Progressives always say More Government Regulation is "Freedom"? Who is Stupid enough to believe that?



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