Netflix If you’re having a tough time getting through the FCC’s Net Neutrality orders, you’re not the only one. After all, 400 pages of anything would be difficult, even without all the legal jargon, dense language, and the 2000 or so footnotes that hug the bottom of each page. Here are the top 5 things you need to know about Net Neutrality and the Internet’s fate: The New Rules: The FCC’s new order comes down to three main points. First, a broadband provider cannot block content or services. Second, the broadband providers cannot slow down service for specific services, a practice known as throttling. Third, and along similar lines, broadband providers cannot provide fast lanes or special treatment in exchange for extra fees. Why 400 Pages? The FCC’s order boils down to three main points, but their document is much more complicated because they had to prepare for their rules to be challenged in court. The FCC’s two previous attempts were actually thrown out for improper legal justification so this time they gave very detailed explanations to cover all their bases. There’s a lot of company money at stake here so you can be sure that AT&T and Comcast are going to take the FCC to court over these new rules. The General Legal Defense: The idea is that the Internet has evolved into a complex and interconnected system that very similarly resembles a telecommunications service. If that is the case, then the Internet falls under the current law that controls telephone monopolies. Does the Government Control the Internet Now? The FCC is not regulating the type of content that gets written, where online traffic goes, or how the Internet operates in general. The FCC is only regulating the last step of your Internet connection, the part where you connect your device to the Internet via broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast. What This Means for the Average Consumer: Your Netflix and Hulu video streaming services can’t be slowed down or blocked just because the broadband providers think they’re using too much bandwidth. The FCC’s goal with this rule is to guarantee the free flow of information to consumers without broadband providers charging a toll for better access along the way. That being said, broadband providers are still free to charge what they want for new rates and services, as long as it treats information providers equally.

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