Let the lawsuits begin. The Federal Communications Commission today published its Preserving Open Internet document, commonly referred to as Net Neutrality rules, and gave notice that they will take effect on Nov. 20. The FCC approved the rules in December 2010, passed on a 3-2 party line vote: Basically, Republicans decry the move as the FCC grabbing the authority to regulate the Internet, while Democrats believe that rules are necessary to stop providers from putting profits ahead of the public interest. The delay is primarily the result of the time necessary to resolve concerns over burdensome paperwork and other practicalities.

Verizon Communications and MetroPCS have already filed suits that the court refused as being premature, because Preserving Open Internet had not yet been finalized and published in the Federal Register. Refiling the suits is a virtual certainty now that the court’s objection is no longer valid. The legal objections question whether the FCC has the authority to impose rules on Internet providers, with the providers generally taking the position that the government is overstepping its authority by doing so, and that these rules would inhibit future innovation regarding traffic management and business models.

It’s also likely that legislative action will rev up, since Congress passed legislation in April to overturn the FCC’s rules, and the Senate has indicated it would push for the same after publication.

There are three primary provisions: providers have to be clear about their service’s speeds and other service characteristics; providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; and fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic. (See the actual wording, posted below.)

Preserving Open Internet is CFR #2011-24259 [GN Docket No. 09-191; WC Docket No. 07-52; FCC 10-201; Filed: 09/22/11 at 8:45 am; Publication Date: 9/23/2011].

Related links:

The Federal Register –

Preserving Open Internet full text (PDF) –

The Hill –

Washington Post –

Wall Street Journal –


  1. Internet neutrality is a must! Look what has happened to Netflix. Big providers forced them to pay for the bandwidth we’ve been already paying for, and in result we’ve lost dvd/streaming package. If the bandwidth we’re paying for is not protected, then next thing we’ll see is highly priced video streaming services that can’t compete with your cable provider anymore. That would run them out of business, and create a path for companies such Comcast to raise prices even further…