Net Neutrality One Step Closer To Becoming Law

Brad Chacos

Net neutrality's motto is simple: Hey ISPs, don't tell us what to do with the Internet. Comcast's P2P traffic-shaping fiasco kicked the movement into high gear a few years back. The net neutrality dream took one step closer to becoming reality yesterday, as the FCC officially registered its hotly debated rules with the Office of Management and Budget – a vital step towards getting the new law on the books. There's still a hard road ahead, however; pissed-off companies are expected to throw legal challenge after legal challenge at the proposed regulations.

A five-person FCC panel approved the new net neutrality regs way back in December in a 3-2 vote. The three "Yays" came from Democrats, while the dissent came solely from Republicans – including a "Nay" vote from new Comcast-NBC VP and former FCC commissioner Meredith Baker . The other "No" came from Robert McDowell, who wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed claiming the FCC (his employer) overstepped its bounds and calling net neutrality "the beginning of a long winter's night for Internet freedom."

Verizon's already challenged the upcoming regulations, Cnet reports , but the DC Court of Appeals slapped it out of the court, saying you can't sue to stop a law that isn't even technically a law yet. The proposed regulations can be commented on for the next 30 days (well, 29 now) and become legally enforceable 60 days after that. Internet providers and other companies are expected to fight the proposal every inch of the way, but the Obama administration backs the new bill.

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