New Net Neutrality Rules in Effect
On June 12, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new Open Internet Order (Net Neutrality rules) officially took effect. This took place after several petitions to stay were filed against the rules but were denied–including a petition denied by the same D.C. Circuit Court whose 2014 ruling ordered the FCC to re-write the rules.
The new Net Neutrality rules uphold three “bright line rules” for Internet Service Providers (ISPs): no blocking or throttling of legal content and no paid prioritization for content providers. For the first time, these rules apply to both mobile and fixed ISPs. Though these rules are in effect, petitioners may move forward in the D.C. Circuit Court with their appeals.
In addition to petitions to stay, the new Net Neutrality rules have seen challenges from Congress. The House Appropriations Subcommittee for Financial Services and General Government included legislation in its FY16 Appropriations Bill that would prohibit the FCC from using its FY16 funds for implementing Net Neutrality rules until certain court cases are resolved. The bill recommends the FCC be funded at $315 million, which is $25 million less than FY15. The full House Appropriations Committee approved the Subcommittee’s bill on June 17.