Friday, December 1, 2017

The Net Neutrality Debate: Access to Broadband Networks

"As congressional policymakers continue to debate telecommunications reform, a major discussion point revolves around what approach should be taken to ensure unfettered access to the Internet. The move to place restrictions on the owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet, to ensure equal access and nondiscriminatory treatment, is referred to as “net neutrality.” While there is no single accepted definition of “net neutrality,” most agree that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its February 26, 2015, open meeting voted 3-2, along party lines, to adopt new open Internet rules and released these rules on March 12, 2015. One of the most controversial aspects of the rules is the decision to reclassify broadband Internet access service as telecommunications service under Title II, thereby subjecting Internet service providers to a more stringent regulatory framework. With limited exceptions, the rules went into effect June 12, 2015. Various parties challenged the legality of the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in a June 14, 2016, ruling, voted (2-1) to uphold the legality of all aspects of the 2015 FCC Order. A petition for full U.S. Appeals Court review was denied and parties have petitioned for U.S. Supreme Court review.."
Net Neutrality

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