The Federal Communications Commission has passed the vote for stronger net neutrality laws in the United States, voting three to two in favor of the laws being passed into Congress.
It is the first move by Chairman Tom Wheeler to reclassify broadband companies as utilities under the Title II ‘common carrier’ brand, similar to telephone companies.
This means internet service providers will not be able to set up tiered-lanes or throttle customers data speeds. ISPs will also be incapable of blocking websites, or slowing a specific site for additional revenue.
The FCC will also maintain more control over the internet at large, allowing the commission to intervene if ISPs try anything that goes against the laws of net neutrality.
Overall, this is a great move by the FCC to establish a neutral future for the internet, devoid of broadband companies using their customer weight to force content creators into tiered-packages.
The laws do still allow ISPs to set prices for broadband and offer tiered broadband speeds. Wheeler recently announced all states are legally allowed to fund community broadband projects, even though 19 states currently have laws preventing these projects, most written by Comcast and AT&T.
The battle is not over for the FCC however, it must fight in Congress against a Republican-owned floor. It may not be as hard as some suspect, with a few Republicans reportedly warming to the idea of full net neutrality in the US.
Court rooms will also become a common place for the FCC, as AT&T and Verizon both prepare to sue the commission over the net neutrality laws. Comcast is currently keeping quiet on the subject, perhaps until the Time Warner Cable merger has been cleared.
Internet companies like Netflix will be happy to hear the news of full net neutrality, considering it currently has to pay ISPs for premium speeds.
Other companies like Riot Games and Facebook are looking to establish direct connection through the creation of data centers in the US, to avoid these new premium-service most ISPs are asking to push fast data through the country.