Essentially, net neutrality is the idea that broadband providers shouldn’t be able to legally restrict Internet users—such as yourselves—from accessing legal content in order to create false scarcity and drive up prices. It’s a battle to keep the Internet open and free. Broadband companies like Comcast and Verizon have been pushing to allow for more restrictions, but up until now, there has only been ambiguous legal intervention.
Today, however, the FCC has drawn the legal line:
The rules require all broadband providers to publicly disclose network management practices, restrict broadband providers from blocking Internet content and applications, and bar fixed broadband providers from engaging in unreasonable discrimination in transmitting lawful network traffic.
Internet providers, however, are still afforded some ability to ration Internet services, much to the chagrin of net neutrality proponents. But FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski defends his position:
As we stand here now, the freedom and openness of the Internet are unprotected. No rules on the books to protect basic Internet values. No process for monitoring Internet openness as technology and business models evolve. No recourse for innovators, consumers, or speakers harmed by improper practices. And no predictability for Internet service providers, so that they can effectively manage and invest in broadband networks.
Which means that the Internet is safe. For now. (Also, that you get to keep following us here at Good Feed without too much worry—and really, that’s what’s important.)