The Federal Communications Commission released its network-neutrality order Thursday (March 12), beginning the process that will include publishing it in the Federal Register (likely in the next week or so), with the rules going into effect 60 days after that, followed by the inevitable lawsuits against the decision to reclassify Internet access as a Title II common-carrier service.
The order provides more meat on the bone of the general conduct standard the FCC is adopting and makes clear that the FCC sees ISPs as the potential problem in the "virtuous cycle" that includes both consumers and edge providers like Google and Netflix. The FCC even quoted Ben Franklin (chairman Tom Wheeler is a history buff) to suggest ISPs need broad oversight of their broadband conduct.
It also uses over-the-top alternatives to traditional video – like Netflix, and HBO and CBS' plans for streaming services – that can deliver video "free of cable subscriptions" to argue that the rules are needed to allow those new services to flourish.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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