In a 3-2 vote today The Federal Communications Commission passed what is referred to as Net Neutrality, essentially keeping the Internet a level playing field for all users. That means your internet service provider will not be able to limit or block access to websites which may have competing content, giving everyone equal access to the Web.
To give an example, Comcast, which offers video-on-demand, would not be able to block access to Netflix which may be offering the same content via monthly subscription rate. The vote today keeps power in the consumer’s hands, not allowing internet service providers the ability to control what a consumer can do on the Internet.
On the other side, the ISPs argue they provide the backbone and technology to view the content, which is requiring more and more bandwidth every day mainly because of video and other rich media. One of the suggestions on the table is a two tiered system which would offer both large and small bandwidth options to consumers.
The FCC’s announcement today says the ruling protects internet freedom by allowing consumer choices and innovation in the free market. And, as well as restricting broadband internet service providers from controlling what content and applications the end user might use, the vote today also requires all broadband providers to publicly disclose network management practices, making internet services policies transparent and open to scrutiny.
As far as broadband on mobile platforms, the FCC stated they would continue to monitor “the potential for anticompetitive or otherwise harmful effects” which could endanger open Internet rules currently in place in the highly competitive, early stage mobile broadband market.