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FCC to Vote on New Anti-Net Neutrality Guidelines

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will propose new guidelines in agreement with the recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision to reject federal requirements that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat all Internet traffic equally.

The FCC's new proposal will allow companies such as Comcast and Verizon to negotiate separate rates with content companies— like Netflix, Amazon, or Google— and charge them different amounts for priority service. The guidelines are in line with the previous court decision, which stated that Internet service providers can block or slow websites, as well as charge video sites like YouTube and Hulu to deliver content to users. The decision came after Comcast said it had the right to slow its users' access to the file-sharing service BitTorrent.

The proposals were drafted by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and his staff and it was given to the rest of the commissioners on Thursday. A vote on the new guidelines will take place on May 15.

The FCC guidelines previously disallowed such tactics under rules that dictated "net neutrality," and did not allow ISPs to charge consumers extra for faster access to some Internet content compared to others. The rules were passed in 2010. Verizon Communications Inc. challenged the FCC's rules. The court ruled that while the FCC has the authority to oversee broadband communications, it does not have a mandate to impose the anti-discrimination rules on broadband providers.

The largest ISPs promised not to introduce a tier-based charging system for its customers. President Obama commented on court decision in January, saying that he would continue to work with the FCC, Congress, and the private sector "to preserve a free and open Internet."

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip

[Via Yahoo! Tech]

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