Net neutrality rules move closer to implementation

mone8 September 13, 2011 Comments Off

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget has signed off on the Federal Communications Commission’s Net neutrality rules, which means the rules could go into effect in two to three months’ time–barring legal challenges.

The OMB signed off on Friday, Reuters reports. The next step will be publication in the Federal Register, which usually takes anywhere from one to three weeks. The rules would then kick in 60 days later.

Soon after the FCC’s late December passing of the rules, Verizon Communications sued the agency in federal court, saying the FCC had overstepped its authority. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed the case, calling it premature, since the rules had not yet been added to the Federal Registry.

With that publication nigh, Verizon and other companies could mount additional legal challenges.

The FCC rules, which came about after years of debate, codify specific Net neutrality principles. The rules essentially let Internet service providers ration access to their networks while preventing them from discriminating against content that comes from competitors. The rules apply more stringently to wired broadband providers than they do wireless carriers. (See CNET’s Net Neutrality FAQ here.)

CNET’s Marguerite Reardon contributed to this report.

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