The FCC just dropped their final set of rules and regulations for an "open internet", going into effect November 20th. Verizon and Metro PCS already tried—and failed—to sue, so let's not get too excited just yet.
Net neutrality is a GOOD thing. It means carriers can't block any law-abiding sites or apps, even if they directly compete with them. It forces them to be transparent in their practices. It lets us use the internet in the way we want. You'd think that would be a no brainer. Not so much. Internet service providers (ISPs) want more control, not less, as all that pesky freedom we have is bad for their bottom line (or so they claim). There will be blood.
Here's a summary from the FCC:
First, transparency: fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of their broadband services. Second, no blocking: fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services. Third, no unreasonable discrimination: fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.
Does any of that sound like a bad thing to you? If the answer is yes, then you might be an ISP. Verizon's and Metro PCS's suits were thrown out earlier this year because the new rules had not yet been finalized, but a betting man would place good money on them being resurrected as soon as they possibly can be, and if that's the case then the internet's newfound freedom is about as safe as a wabbit during wabbit season. [Ars Technica]