In late December 2010, the Federal Communications Commission passed Network Neutrality Internet regulations. The rule allows the FCC to determine how Internet service providers manage data traffic. Relying on a dubious legal foundation, the rule is sure to be challenged in court and by Congress. In the meantime, Net Neutrality will decrease investment in broadband, increase Internet congestion, and – under the FCC’s new interpretation of the law – allow the Commission to regulate virtually all aspects of the Internet, including pricing and content, if it so chooses.
Below are some helpful resources for understanding Net Neutrality. When you’re done checking them out, click here to write your legislators encouraging them to repeal the regulations.
Net Neutrality: Government Regulation and Takeover of the Internet
Click here for Digital Liberty’s overview of the Net Neutrality issue and it’s many negative reprecussions.
Report and Order In the Matter of Preserving the Open Internet
Click here for a PDF of the Federal Communications Commission’s order establishing Net Neutrality rules.
Reading the Net Neutrality Order
In a terrific five part series, Larry Downes outlines on Tech Liberation Front Net Neutrality’s contentious history, the FCC’s rule, and what it means for the Internet ecosphere:
Chairman Genachowski and his Howling Commissioners
A Hundred Years of Coase
“Fake Neutrality” or Government Takeover?
“Preserving the Internet,” But Which One?
Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges
Two of the five FCC Commissioners voted against the rule, offering strong dissenting statements:
Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Robert M. McDowell (PDF)
Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker (PDF)
Net Neutrality: Impact on the Consumer and Economic Growth
Click here for a report by Frost & Sullivan’s Stratecast that analyses the economic impact of the regulations. Amongst other findings, the report found that Net Neutrality could raise consumer bills “anywhere from $10 to as much as $55 each month on top of an average broadband access charge of $30.00.”
Net Neutrality, Investment & Jobs: Assessing the Potential Impacts of the FCC’s Proposed Net Neutrality Rules on the Broadband Ecosystem
Click here for a study finding that Net Neutrality would cost at least 500,000 jobs over the long term. It was authored by Charles Davidson and Bret Swanson of The Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute of the New York Law School.
Just 21% Want FCC to Regulate Internet
Immediately following the passage of Net Neutrality, a Rasmussen Reports poll found that Americans oppose the rules 54 percent to a mere 21 percent. On top of this, 56 percent believe that the FCC will use the new rules to promote a political agenda.