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The FCC Rules in Favor of Net Neutrality in the United States

2/26/2015 to 6/12/2015

On February 26, 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled in favor of net neutrality in the United States by reclassifying broadband access as a telecommunications service and thus applying Title II (common carrier) of the Communications Act of 1934 to Internet service providers. Net neutrality (also called network neutrality, Internet neutrality, or net equality) means that Internet service providers (ISPs) and governments should treat all data on the Internet the same, and should not discriminate or charge differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication. The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003, as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier. The FCC released the specific details of its new net neutrality rule on March 12, 2015. One month later, on April 13, 2015, the FCC published the final rule on its new regulations; the rule took effect on June 12, 2015.

Prior to this ruling there was extensive debate over the issue of whether net neutrality should be required by law in the United States. Advocates of net neutrality raised concerns about the capability of broadband providers to use their last mile infrastructure to block Internet applications and content (i. e. websites, services, and protocols), and even to block out competitors. Opponents claimed net neutrality regulations would deter investment into improving broadband infrastructure.

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