Last month, the FCC voted to protect net neutrality and reclassify Internet providers under Title II restrictions. At the time though, we didn’t actually know the specifics of these new rules. Now, a few weeks later, the government agency has released the full document, all 400 pages of it.
One focus here is exactly how Title II will be applied to the Internet. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler previously noted that the classification could be tweaked slightly for Internet providers. Specifically, that means many of the standard rules won’t be applied, including last-mile unbundling and rate regulation. Overall, the FCC is pushing what it’s called a “light touch.”
The proposal focuses on three main rules for protecting the open Internet. The first rule is no blocking, meaning Internet service providers can’t block sites they view as competition or don’t agree with. Second, ISPs can’t throttle your connection to slow it down when you’re consuming what might otherwise be considered “too much data.” Third, the FCC is blocking paid prioritization, meaning big companies like Netflix and Facebook can’t pay providers to make their sites load faster.
The FCC still leaves some wiggle room for ISPs to control their own networks with what it calls “reasonable network management.” However, that won’t allow Internet providers or carriers to break the three primary rules established in the proposal.
Carriers and ISPs are already speaking out against the FCC’s proposal, and the fate of the open Internet is still far from decided. Still, this document seems to nail some of the main points net neutrality supporters have been asking for. You can check the entire thing out for yourself below, though it’s not exactly a quick read.