The Federal Communications Commission will be publishing the net neutrality rules tomorrow, which will take effect starting November 20. The new rules barely passed last December with a 3-2 party-line vote, but have not taken effect yet largely due to continued opposition and the FCC dragging its feet on publishing them to the Federal Register.
The net neutrality rules ban internet providers from deliberately blocking or slowing legal internet traffic. However, they do not prevent providers from offering faster traffic for companies that may need it for delivering video, games, and other services. The rules also offer more protection for consumers, requiring providers to be give more information on their services and actual speeds.
Although the new rules apply mostly to wired broadband networks, it will also require wireless internet providers to have fewer restrictions. There’s been plenty of opposition, which argue that the rules would only require more paperwork and that the FCC was overstepping its authority. Lawsuits were filed by Verizon and MetroPCS seeking to block the net neutrality rules, but the cases were dismissed as premature since the rules were not in place yet at the time. With the rules taking effect in November, we’ll be sure to see more lawsuits to come.