The debate over “Net Neutrality” has reached another significant milestone with the USA’s telco regulator, the FCC, announcing new rules for broadband providers. The outcome of this debate, which will likely continue for some time as the FCC’s rules come under legal challenge, will have far reaching impacts on the future of the internet.
In a nutshell the new FCC rules require that internet content is not blocked or divided into fast lanes and slow lanes based on ability of content providers to pay. This state of play comes after President Obama entered the debate in November 2014 encouraging the FCC to use old-style telco regulations to implement these new rules.
The politicisation of the Net Neutrality debate in the USA has even seen the FCC decision resolved along partisan lines with the Democrat majority commissioners outvoting their Republican counterparts.
In Australia, we are no strangers to political debates and partisanship regarding the internet and broadband, with the NBN policy front and centre at each federal elections since 2007.
However Net Neutrality has not been an issue in Australia. Popular content providers such as ABC’s iView have not been throttled by internet service providers and a plethora of new video streaming services are ready to be launched without raising Net Neutrality concerns.