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June 16, 2014

FCC Taking Net Neutrality Wireless?

Commission Reworking Rules to Apply to Mobile Usage

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The Federal Communications Commission apparently isn’t happy with the turmoil it has created with its Net neutrality regulations and is now branching out.

The FCC has broadened its scope when it comes to the Net neutrality issue — which could allow broadband providers to offer “commercially reasonable” traffic management — and has set its sights on mobile Internet usage. Its bid to ensure Internet service providers aren’t blocking or slowing down access to content for users is now being rewritten — after being shot down in January by an appeals court — and may include wireless networks.

fcc-logoThe idea of expanding in to the wireless arena is actually gaining some popularity by some companies that have embraced wireless access. Many companies have recognized the value of wireless customers as more and more users are accessing the Internet via devices and cellular phones.

Reuters quoted Internet Association head Michael Beckerman as saying there should be no difference considered when determining how someone is accessing the Web.

“The distinction between wireless and wireline is certainly not the same as it was… The enforceable net neutrality rules should apply equally, whether you use the Internet on your mobile or home broadband,” said Beckerman.

The Internet Association represents a wide variety of companies including Amazon and Netflix.

The FCC’s original, 2010 rules banned fixed and wireless providers from blocking access to legal websites. However, wireline carriers could not block legal applications or discriminate legitimate Web traffic and applications. Wireless providers, though, were banned only from blocking applications competing with their own services.

Just last month, the FCC voted in favor of opening its Net neutrality rules up to public comment.


W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.