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Posted at 8:52 AM ET, 12/22/2010

FCC net neutrality rules represent a compromise

By Cecilia Kang

From the paper today:

By Cecilia Kang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 22, 2010; 12:47 AM

New Internet access rules approved by federal regulators on Tuesday prohibit network operators from meddling with Web traffic into American homes but do not extend to the fast-growing market for smartphones and tablet computers.

The regulations passed the Federal Communications Commission along party lines, with two Democratic commissioners reluctantly siding with agency Chairman Julius Genachowski in a 3-2 vote.

The rules seek to uphold a principle called net neutrality, under which Internet service providers are supposed to give equal treatment to all legal Web content on their networks. But the measure met with swift opposition Tuesday.

Republican lawmakers immediately promised to work to overthrow the rules, while analysts predicted that cable and telecom giants will file lawsuits challenging the FCC's authority to regulate the broadband market.

Genachowski, who had aggressively pushed for the rules for more than a year, did get the support of President Obama, who said the measure fulfilled an election campaign promise for net-neutrality regulations.

"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 said in a statement Tuesday.

To view the rest of the story, click here.

By Cecilia Kang  | December 22, 2010; 8:52 AM ET
Categories:  Net Neutrality  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Apple co-founder Wozniak: new rules not enough
Next: The Circuit: net neutrality -- the morning after; Verizon and Motorola go 4G; women in tech


Another government power grab. They make up a fake crisis and grant themselves power where they shouldn't have any.

This is the left-wing. Outgoing, un-elected legislators who LOST their seats are now pushing this through the lame-duck session. The left AGAIN doesnt listen to the people, ignores the Federal coourt and grants themselves power so they can rack up bib bucks for Google, and take away our free speech by smacking conservative opposition.

The FCC should only control the phones and radio..It has NO BUSINESS messing with the Net.

Posted by: JBfromFL | December 22, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse


Far from a "government power grab", this is a long-overdue FCC effort in the interest of the American people. The communications spectrum is a public resource, to be used responsibly in the public interest.

Yet it has not been. Despite a massive public subsidy, development of the public data infrastructure does not appear to have been a top priority for those receiving proceeds of the tariff. Telecomms like AT&T and Verizon have whined about what lax regulation there was, but from all appearances, there was not nearly enough regulation of any sort.

As if in point, the US lags far behind other industrialized (but much poorer) nations in its fiber / high-speed data infrastructure, despite years of payments by US consumers to help pay for that development effort.

Instead, the telecomms, aided and abetted by a gleeful US senate oversight committee chaired for too many years by John McCain ("the Senator from AT&T"), simply pocketed the public subsidy as more profit.

The only power grab came from the telecomms, who are accustomed to getting their way with The Best Congress Money Can Buy. Thank you, Chairman Genechowski and your Democratic colleagues, for showing your sense of responsibility to the American people.

Posted by: alphaa10 | December 27, 2010 3:35 AM | Report abuse

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