The battle over net neutrality flared up again in the US on Thursday as opponents and supporters exchanged proposals and rhetoric.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that it will move forward with efforts to enforce neutrality rules on the web, and prevent telcos from deliberately throttling traffic based on a user's application or destination.
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said that the laws are necessary to keep the internet free and open, and to ensure that smaller web sites and services are given a fair chance to succeed in an open market.
"The internet's openness has allowed entrepreneurs and innovators, small and large, to create countless applications and services without having to seek permission from anyone," said Genachowski.
"As a result, internet pioneers with little more than a good idea and a no-frills internet connection have built hundreds of thousands of small businesses as well as web giants."
Opponents of the initiative have also stepped up their efforts. Senator John McCain has issued new legislation to prevent the FCC from addressing net neutrality, and criticised the FCC's efforts in an editorial for The Washington Times on Thursday.
"These new rules should rightly be viewed by consumers suspiciously as another government power grab over a private service provided by private companies in a competitive marketplace," wrote McCain.
"This government takeover of the internet will stifle innovation, which will in turn hinder job creation."
Regulators in the European Union are also struggling with the issue. Earlier in the day the European Parliament voted to weaken its legislation on net neutrality and allow telcos greater control over how traffic can be managed.
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