The Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) voted in favor of net neutrality regulations last month, and published the 313-page document online March 12. The vote comes nine months after the Internet regulations were proposed by the F.C.C.
Under the new ruling, broadband Internet is reclassified as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. That means Internet service is now qualified as a public utility and can be regulated as such.
The 1934 act was first overhauled by Bill Clinton in 1996, and that was the first major change to U.S. telecommunications law since its inception. The update included Internet policy for the first time.
The new broadband reclassification, applicable to computer and mobile usage, makes Internet service subject to regulations by the F.C.C., just as other common utilities are strictly monitored. Private-held companies will now be subject to government regulations, as determined.
As a result, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as cable and telephone companies, for example, are prohibited from discriminating against content by blocking or slowing Internet speeds in an attempt to be paid for faster lanes on their networks. This practice is known as “paid prioritization.” Service providers are also required disclose their network management practices.
“Here at DNS Made Easy, we continually stay involved with all current legal debates regarding net neutrality and its impact on our clients,” said Evan Daniels, Executive Vice-President of Tiggee, parent company of DNS service provider DNS Made Easy. “It is important for us to stay well-informed with this ruling as many of our clients could be impacted. It is imperative a company that provides vital Internet infrastructure services such as DNS Made Easy has a deep understanding of what is happening so we can better inform our clients if they have questions. This is crucial in providing outstanding service to our customers around the world.”
FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, said in a published statement, “No one, whether government or corporate, should control free open access to the Internet.”
This ruling is taking this big regulatory step by reclassifying high-speed Internet service as a telecommunications service, instead of an information service. The Title II classification comes from the phone company era, treating service as a public utility.
Grouped in with the net neutrality debate is DNS hijacking. This basically means when a user mistypes a domain name and it does not exist, a traditional “page not found” error would appear. DNS redirection, already is use by large Internet providers, will replace the unfound link with an ad-laden results page the user may or may not be aware of, which can result in profits on the backend for businesses.
The effects of this type violation can be summarized simply: companies interfere with a standard technical protocol. Companies can override consumer choice by shifting traffic from consumer-chosen services to specific locations and services. This would be a violation of a net neutrality provision.
According to the New York Times article, “FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules,” which was published Feb 26, 2015, opponents of the new rules, led by cable television and telecommunications companies, say adopting the Title II approach opens the door to bureaucratic interference with business decisions that would reduce incentives to invest and, in the end, raise prices and hurt consumers.
Other opponents suggest taking the control from the private industry to the government sector means the customer loses out in the end.
Also published on Medium.