Skip to main content

FCC files net neutrality rules, sets stage for legal fight

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Federal Communications Commission has registered its new net neutrality regulations with the Department of Management and Budget, bringing the regulations one step close to being official. The OMB will make the regulations available for comment for 30 days and, if after the 30 day period the OMB issues an approval, the FCC’s net neutrality framework will go into effect 60 days later.

The FCC’s latest attempt to regulate network neutrality comes in the wake of its Internet freedom principles, first articulated in 2005, were eviscerated in court by Comcast in the wake of its having been found to be interfering with P2p networking traffic. Comcast didn’t attack the principles themselves, but rather the FCC’s authority to mandate network neutrality, since that power had never been explicitly granted to the agency by Congress. Years of debate followed, with the FCC eventually giving up on working with Internet and mobile stakeholders and opting to forge its own path based on what the agency believes is sound legal footing.

The FCC’s new regulations enable Internet access providers to largely regulate their networks in any way they see fit, so long as they do so with disclosure and transparency so customers can make informed decision about service. However, the regulations also protect consumers’ ability to use any “lawful” device they want on the Internet, as well as to send and receive any lawful traffic, whilst barring “unreasonable” traffic discrimination on the part of ISPs.

The regulations also enables ISPs to create broadband networks separate from the public Internet that would not be subject to neutrality regulation, and offers mobile operators significant flexibility in how they manage their networks while enshrining a basic no-blocking rule for mobile broadband. The FCC promises to keep a close eye on mobile broadband and enact additional regulation if necessary.

Although the regulations are not yet official, they were immediately challenged by telecom operator Verizon, who argues the FCC still lacks the authority to mandate net neutrality practices. Verizon’s prompt action very likely sets the stage for a significant industry challenge to net neutrality regulation. Comcast has characterized network neutrality as an “engineering” issue, rather than a policy problem, and argues the industry will do a better job self-regulating access rather than being burdened by government regulation.

Editors' Recommendations

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
The most innovative laptop of 2023
The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i won Digital Trend's Most Innovative Laptop of 2023 award.

Laptops struggled hard in 2023. For the first time in years, we saw a decline in units sold -- and what felt like a general lack of momentum in the space. But that doesn't mean there weren't a few that really got me excited. The three laptops listed below show just how adventurous laptop manufacturers are getting, and my top choice really pushes that to the extreme.

So, while these aren't exactly the best new laptops to come out in 2023 that everyone should go out and buy, they do show off some serious innovation in engineering and design.

Read more
Microsoft plans to charge for Windows 10 updates in the future
Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating system logos are displayed on laptop screens.

Microsoft has confirmed it will offer security updates for Windows 10 after the end-of-life date for the operating system for consumer users but for a fee.

The brand recently announced plans to charge regular users for Extended Security Updates (ESU) who intend to continue using Windows 10 beyond the October 14, 2025 support date.

Read more
Intel said AMD’s Ryzen 7000 is snake oil
AMD CEO Lisa Su holding an APU chip.

In what is one of the most bizarrely aggressive pieces of marketing material I've seen, Intel compared AMD's Ryzen 7000 mobile chips to snake oil. Over the weekend, Intel posted its Core Truths playbook, which lays out how AMD's mobile processor naming scheme misleads customers. The presentation has since been deleted, according to The Verge.

There's an element of truth to that, which I'll get to in a moment, but first, the playbook, which was first spotted by VideoCardz. Intel starts with claiming that there's a "long history of selling half-truths to unsuspecting customers" alongside images of a snake oil salesman and a suspicious used car seller. This sets up a comparison between the Ryzen 5 7520U and the Core i5-1335U. Intel's chip is 83% faster, according to the presentation, due to the older architecture that AMD's part uses.

Read more