Net neutrality in US agreed, but not for mobiles

Android the reason for lack of mobile internet rules

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The US has managed to agree to new net neutrality rules, after ISP regulations were given the greenlight.

The regulations are certainly limited but the key to the new ruling means that ISPs in the country will not be able to interfere or block online content and give all content the same treatment, regardless of the website that's supplying it.

The voting for the net neutrality ruling was close (3-2) but President Obama said about the new regulation: "Today's decision will help preserve the free and open nature of the internet while encouraging innovation, protecting consumer choice, and defending free speech."

The ruling doesn't stretch as far as mobile internet, however, with the FCC noting that this area of the internet is evolving too fast for carriers at the moment, so adding these restrictions would have a negative effect.

However, VoiP services such as Skype will not be blocked under the new ruling.

Open mobile

"We recognise that there have been meaningful recent moves toward openness, including the introduction of open operating systems like Android," said the FCC.

"In light of these considerations, we conclude it is appropriate to take measured steps at this time to protect the openness of the internet when accessed through mobile broadband."

So it seems that mobile broadband will be a regulation-free place for some time to come.

Given that the UK is seriously considering getting rid of net neutrality, however, any regulations agreed in the US can only be a good thing.

Via the Guardian