FCC passes net neutrality rules

FCC passes net neutrality rules
On Thursday, the FCC passed the net neutrality rules promising a level playing field for all. The rules prevent content providers from paying ISPs for a faster pipeline to customers. The internet providers would be considered "common carriers" under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which puts them on the same level as utilities like gas and electricity which charge the same to all customers in a particular region.

Content providers like Netflix and Google were in favor of the rules passing, while internet providers like Comcast and Verizon were against them. Had the FCC not passed net neutrality, certain sites might have been forced to pay providers to reach the public, a charge which would have been passed along to consumers in the form of higher subscription rates. While the new rules will also apply to mobile carriers, small providers will be exempt from some of the new regulations. The rules won't be made official until this summer, and then they could be challenged by the carriers in court.

The commission voted across party lines as expected, with the three Democrats on the panel voting in favor of the rules and the two Republicans voting against them. One thing for mobile users to fear would be the implementation of the 16% Universal Service Fees which is a tax placed on interstate landline telephone service. The USF fees collected are used to make phone service affordable in rural areas of the country.

source: NBCNews, PCWorld, CNN

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