Thursday, May 26, 2011

So Where are the Net Neutrality Rules?

It has been about five months since the Federal Communications Commission decided to impose network neutrality rules on fixed line access providers. But the actual rules haven't been published in the Federal Register, so haven't taken effect.

That is an unusually long delay, and some think it will take another five months before the rules actually are published. The delay, say FCC officials, has to do with the sheer complexity of implementing the order. In other words, some might say, it isn't easy to quantify exactly what has to be done, what cannot be done, and how to collect information to ascertain what is happening.

Then, once the actual orders are published, the lawsuits will start to be filed, leading to possibly years more delay. And in the meantime, it is entirely possible that the market participants might themselves come to some understanding that either side steps the rules or makes them unnecessary.

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