Here are the new rules on Internet access that the Federal Communications Commission is expected to approve on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010, according to the Washington Post.
Says the article, "Under the regulations, companies that carry the Internet into American homes would not be allowed to block Web sites that offer rival services, nor would they be permitted to play favorites by dividing delivery of Internet content into fast and slow lanes."
The article adds, "The proposal, pushed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, seeks to add teeth to a principle known as net neutrality, which calls for all legal Internet traffic to be treated equally. It means that a cable company such as Comcast could not slow traffic of Netflix video, while a wireless carrier such as Verizon Wireless could not block competing Web voice services, such as Vonage."
Furthermore, the story notes, "The proposal falls short of what some consumer advocates had sought. Although it would prevent wireless carriers from blocking competing voice services on smartphones, it would allow them to charge more for other types of Internet applications, such as video or social networking services."
The article also spoke to Rebecca Arbogast, an investment analyst for Stifel Nicolaus, who "said that the rules are written so they can be broadly interpreted and that questions remain about the real impact on Internet video. It’s unclear whether a company such as Comcast could in effect give its video-on-demand service priority over competitors such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon by charging them more to transmit high volumes of data, she said."