The new rules require ISPs be fully transparent in their dealings and not to block legal content, applications or services for any reason. Wireless suppliers get a bit more leeway, since they can block voice or video apps and services that compete with their own products.
"For the first time, we'll have enforceable rules of the road to preserve internet freedom and openness," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
"A strong and sensible framework--one that protects Internet freedom and openness and promotes robust innovation and investment."
When it comes the ability to provide extra speed or bandwidth to certain sites then for wired users the situation is much the same. ISPs can filter for 'congestion management' but little else and must always be open about it.
But for wireless users all bets are off. If the rules are adopted by the industry then we're going to see a plethora of pricing schemes to suit all tastes, if not all budgets. Entertainment packages, business traveller plans and mobile gamer plans can all be expected, and they'll all cost extra.
The final plans aren't final as yet, since there are outstanding legal cases over whether the FCC has the right to do this kind of thing anyway, but Sleuth is expecting much higher bills in 2011 as a result of today's vote.
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