FCC net neutrality rules represent a compromise
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.
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| December 22, 2010; 8:52 AM ET
Categories: Net Neutrality
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