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FCC Approves Net Neutrality

The FCC has just voted down party lines, 3-2, in favor of federally regulating the internet. The panel is made up of five regulators, three democrats and two republicans.

From the National Journal:

The FCC’s Democrats approved new “network neutrality” rules for the Internet today on a 3-2 party-line vote. The regulations, which have sparked considerable controversy in Washington and nationwide, are designed to ensure that the Internet is not dominated by major telecommunications and cable companies.

The rules prohibit anticompetitive blocking and degrading of competing online services, and are enforceable by the agency. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski insisted his plan creates a "nonideological framework" that would "increase certainty" for investors leery about the lack of rules governing the Web.

Republicans on the commission and on Capitol Hill insisted that the new restrictions are unnecessary, while some prominent watchdogs complained they don’t go far enough to protect consumers and smaller competitors.

Republican FCC commissioner Robert McDowell dissented, arguing the policy would lead to less investment and jobs lost and “all of this in the name of promoting the exact opposite.” He decried “regulatory hubris” and warned that “the cures for this malady are attainable in court.”

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