Those who have been eagerly awaiting the enactment of laws to preserve net neutrality in the US should mark their calendars for 20 November.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has confirmed that it will enact laws to prevent ISPs deliberately throttling traffic based on the application or service being accessed.
The FCC filing states that the rules will ensure that "the freedom and openness that have enabled the internet to flourish as an engine for creativity and commerce will continue".
"This framework thus provides greater certainty and predictability to consumers, innovators, investors and broadband providers, as well as the flexibility providers need to effectively manage their networks," the FCC said.
The laws do little more than mandate what was already considered the status quo. Most consumers assume that they will get the same internet connection regardless of the site they visit or the application they use.
Net neutrality has been a popular topic among governments. The US and the UK have debated whether enforcing net neutrality constitutes important consumer protection or dangerous government regulation.
The new laws may not last very long, however. Republicans in Congress have been outspoken critics of net neutrality and, with the economy continuing to stall under a Democrat president, voters could give Republicans control of Congress, leading to a prompt repeal of the regulations.
But consumers may still have options if the laws are repealed. Tools such as n00ter promise to identify service providers that throttle certain services, allowing web users to drop ISPs that don't adhere to neutrality.
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