By Paul Glist
On Dec. 21, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted net neutrality rules, which largely implement existing Internet traffic and management practices, impose new non-discrimination and transparency rules, but leave room for specialized or managed services and usage based billing. The order is notable for basing jurisdiction mostly on Title I and ancillary jurisdiction, rather than reclassifying broadband as a Title II common carrier service.
As expected, the vote was adopted on a 3-2 partisan vote. Democratic Commissioners justified the order as a compromise necessary for maintaining the Internet as an open platform where innovation may occur without seeking regulatory permission, while providing certainty conducive to investment at the edge as well as in the broadband network core. In vigorous dissent, Republican Commissioners questioned any need for departing from the successful history of building and maintaining an open Internet by leaving it largely free of government regulation.