FCC to vote on net neutrality

Facing criticism from all sides, the Federal Communications Commission plans to take on net neutrality regulations despite a federal court ruling in April that said the FCC does not have the authority to regulate how Internet service providers deal with network traffic, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Since becoming FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski has been promising new regulations for phone and cable companies that offer broadband access. He said Wednesday that the new rules would guarantee that providers treat all data on their networks the same, a concept known as net neutrality, National Public Radio reported.

But critics say the new rules do not fulfill their intended purpose, NPR reported.

Sascha Meinrath of the New America Foundation, a think-tank in Washington, D.C., says the proposed rules are full of loopholes.

Meinrath says the biggest loophole may be that wireless networks would be exempt from a lot of the rules governing classic, wired Internet, NPR reported.

"No one was particularly happy with what the FCC chairman is proposing. But that doesn't mean it's not the right answer," said Kevin Werbach, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a former technology consultant to the Obama administration.

"I can understand those in the public interest community who would like to see something stronger. But having something in place is going to be much better than nothing," he said. "And the reality is that nothing is the alternative."

The full commission will vote on the proposed rules on Dec. 21, NPR reported.

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