FCC Finalizes Net Neutrality Rules, in effect Nov. 20

The Federal Communications Commission has filed its finalized the open Internet (net neutrality) rules it voted on late last year. The rules now go to the Federal Register, who will publish them tomorrow and make them official. The rules go into effect on November 20, but chances are they will be put on hold as two lawsuits by prominent service providers will be relaunched. Both Verizon and MetroPCS had taken their lawsuits to the federal courts earlier this year but both were tossed out because the rules hadn't been finalized.

Now that they have been officially ratified, expect both companies to rush back to federal court. But even if those lawsuits don't go forward (trust me, they will), the rules adopted by the FCC lack any real teeth and gave many concessions to ISP's like giving them the blessing to engage in usage-based pricing, bandwidth caps and more.

The rules remain the same as they were when the FCC passed them back in December of 2010; they include provisions that force ISP's to disclose their network management practices, and provisions from keeping them from blocking lawful content and services. Mobile networks can still throttle connections and block certain apps if they so choose.

Ultimately advocates for net neutrality probably shouldn't be cheering for these rules because they don't go far enough. You can read the finalized guidelines in this PDF.

Source: Ars Technica

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