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FCC net neutrality rules effective Nov. 20

Fri, 09/23/2011 - 8:25am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

The FCC's net neutrality regulations were published in the Federal Register yesterday and will go into effect on Nov. 20.

That doesn't mean the book is closed on the controversial regulations.

The publication of the rules is likely to trigger a legislative fight on Capitol Hill. House Republicans have supported legislation that would invalidate the regulations, and the bill could resurface now that the rules have become official.

Verizon and MetroPCS sued over the regulations last year, only to have their complaints dismissed on a technicality for being premature. Verizon has vowed to re-file its lawsuit; MetroPCS has not disclosed its intentions.

Advocacy group Public Knowledge appeared ready for a fight. "We are prepared to vigorously defend the FCC's rules in court and in Congress," Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn said.

A legal fight could drag on for years, and a judge could decide to block the regulations from going into effect until a decision is made on the case.

The regulations ban mobile broadband providers from blocking lawful websites and competing services and requires them to disclose information about data speeds and network management practices. Fixed broadband providers are subject to more stringent regulations.

Some wireless operators, including AT&T, say they are already in compliance with the regulations.

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