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The FCC Now Non-neutral in Net Neutrality Debate The FCC Now Non-neutral in Net Neutrality Debate

The FCC Now Non-neutral in Net Neutrality Debate

by Morgan Clendaniel
September 19, 2009

Net Neutrality, a big issue for a few minutes a few years ago, hasn't had its place in the sun recently, despite candidate Obama's promises to enforce it. Now it seems that the FCC is ready to make net neutrality the law of the land.Quick primer: Net neutrality means that an internet or wireless provider can't allow some pieces of information to get to the user faster than other pieces of information. The fears are that a provider could either accept cash to send some pieces faster than others, or inhibit free speech by preventing information it didn't like from moving, or from moving at the same speed as others. There is no better explanation than John Hodgman's on The Daily Show. Remember, it was former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens's speech about net neutrality that led to the now immortal assertion that the internet is a "series of tubes."Now, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to announce Monday that what had previously been guidelines about net neutrality will soon become hard and fast rules. There are some issues to work out about bandwidth (currently, some providers limit or prevent users from transferring incredibly large files to protect the overall speed of the network. Whether that would become illegal is still unclear), but in general, here's hoping the FCC will follow through and that electronic information will be able to freely run wherever it wants.Note that this comes on the same day that the Federal Reserve floated a new proposal for what appears to be fairly drastic new rules about pay structure at banks. After weeks of getting beaten up on health care, is the Obama administration actually flexing its atrophied muscles on some of its campaign promises?
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