FCC reveals net neutrality plans

The US FCC has published its decision on broadband regulations – to the chagrin of the country's major operators, which have cried foul at the approach.

As expected, chairman Julius Genachowski has laid out an approach that paves the way for the regulator to magnify its powers to ensure net neutrality.

But he will stop short of reclassifying broadband as a Title II service, which would also give the FCC the power to regulate on issues such as price and content.

Instead Genachowski has specified an approach in which the FCC will seek greater powers over the transmission component of broadband access services – classifying only this component as Title II.

“This approach... will place federal policy regarding broadband communications services... on the soundest legal foundation,” he said in his decision.

Genachowski added that it would also restore the status quo that existed before the Comcast decision placed the FCC's authority to regulate net neutrality in doubt, giving the Commission neither more nor less power.

But the compromise was not warmly received by US ISPs, with Time Warner Cable and Verizon both attacking the decisions in public statements.

“[Title II] regulations were designed for different services delivered by different networks in different times,” Verizon said. “We believe that the chairman's stated approach is legally unsupported.”

Both argued that the approach could harm consumers.

AT&T was perhaps even more fiery in its criticism, telling Wired that “the FCC is, in fact, and for the first time, regulating the internet itself. We believe this is without legal basis.”