Federal Communications Commission To Adopt Rules For Government Internet Regulation-Truth!

Federal Communications Commission Adopts Rules For Government Internet Regulation-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

Various warnings circulated on the Internet of a government take over of the World Wide Web.  Some warnings include links to online petitions to stop Internet regulation.

The Truth:

Over the December 19, 2010 weekend several political watch dog organizations sent out warnings of what they said was Obama’s take over of the Internet.

They were reacting to several years of controversy among the commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over an issue that became known as “Net Neutrality.” Proponents of Net Neutrality argue that it would correct certain problems in the way the Internet operates and allow greater freedom from control of large Internet companies.  Critics say it would result in higher costs, less freedom, and, in the case of one of the commissioners, Meredith Atwell Baker, there is the question of whether the FCC even has the authority to regulate the Internet.

The FCC approved the new rules by a 3-2 vote.  It gives the federal government the authority to regulate Internet traffic but it is uncertain as to how much or how long the regulations will extend. The full rules have yet to be released.  An FCC statement said it “…acted to preserve the Internet as an open network enabling consumer choice, freedom of expression, user control, competition and the freedom to innovate. Click for FCC statement.

The rules are expected to begin early in 2011 but will face challenges both in the courts and in congress. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has called the FCC’s action ‘flawed’ and that members of congress will have an opportunity to try to change it.

The new rules will permit communication companies to charge extra for priority mobile delivery services such as for video streaming. 

update 12/21/2010