Net Neutrality in Effect For Now, But the Battle Continues

After a federal court rejected attempts by cable and phone companies to stop net neutrality on Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission's plan for new Internet rules went into effect. Under the new rules, the FCC can assert extra authority over the Internet to establish equal access to Internet speeds and Web sites.

Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have claimed that the rules are beyond the FCCEUs powers, and challenged them in court. A full hearing on the issue is scheduled for later this year.

"Starting Friday [June 12], there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open. Blocking, throttling, pay-for-priority fast lanes and other efforts to come between consumers and the Internet are now things of the past," said FCC chair Tom Wheeler. "The rules also give broadband providers the certainty and economic incentive to build fast and competitive broadband networks."

The broadband industry will now be under the FCCEUs so-called Title II powers for the next few months at least, as both sides prepare their final arguments.

Little Change for Now

We reached out to independent technology analyst Jeff Kagan, who told us that things wonEUt change much while the issue is still being argued -- for instance, videos wonEUt stream any faster. "I really don't foresee much change for consumers in these early days," says Kagan. "Nothing customers will notice, anyway."

The ruling has two major parts. The first says that ISPs now fall under the category of telecommunications services, meaning they are bound by the regulations of Title II, which provides the FCC the authority to regulate them as a public utility. This could have major implications on the future of the industry since it is at the core of the appeal by the ISPs.

The second major part of the ruling creates so-called...

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