Net neutrality

Ars Technica has produced a great overview of what Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman, has made happen with net neutrality.

To critics suggesting that Title II classification represents harmful interference, Wheeler says: “This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech.” This is the key concept for understanding net neutrality—that Wheeler’s plan enshrines the open internet that has developed organically while at the same time protecting consumers from the capriciousness of monopolistic service providers. More from Ars:

The core net neutrality provisions are bans on blocking and throttling traffic, a ban on paid prioritization, and a requirement to disclose network management practices. Broadband providers will not be allowed to block or degrade access to legal content, applications, services, and non-harmful devices or favor some traffic over others in exchange for payment. There are exceptions for “reasonable network management” and certain data services that don’t use the “public Internet.” Those include heart monitoring services and the Voice over Internet Protocol services offered by home Internet providers. …

… the vote does little to boost Internet service competition in cities or towns. But it’s an attempt to prevent incumbent ISPs from using their market dominance to harm online providers, including those who offer services that compete against the broadband providers’ voice and video products.

Union Square Ventures has done a great job for years explaining why net neutrality matters. I’m hopeful net neutrality can become a reality prior to the end of President Obama’s term.