Net neutrality rules to start in US on November 20

Internet service providers in the US will be under a new set of rules starting on November 20. PC Magazine reports that the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, which were approved last December, will finally go into effect on November 20. The date was set on Friday following the publication of the new rules by the FCC in the Federal Register.

The new rules state that Internet service providers, while allowing them to monitor and even slow down broadband speeds on their networks, cannot restrict access to web sites based on specific content. That means that after November 20 your local ISP cannot slow down access to, say, the Netflix streaming video service in favor of another similar web site. The idea is to give consumers full access to any web site or Internet service regardless of which ISP they use.

The new regulations are already getting opposition from ISPs and wireless carriers. Verizon sued to stop the rules from going into effect earlier this year, claiming that the FCC didn't have the authority to regulate their activities. The courts threw out the lawsuit, however. They said that since the rules had not yet been published in the Federal Register, it was too early to file lawsuits against the FCC. It's expected that Verizon and other companies will now re-file those lawsuits now that the rules have been published. In addition, a number of Republican lawmakers have also expressed their opposition to the net neutrality rules. The Republican controlled US House of Representatives voted earlier this year to overturn the FCC's decision but that move didn't progress any further in the Congress.

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