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Net Neutrality Vote Only Inflames Debate

December 22, 2010

The rancor in Washington over network neutrality is about to enter a new phase: all-out political and judicial warfare. Federal Communications Commission approval Tuesday of ambitious new regulations for Internet service has triggered a heated debate over the government's role in regulating cyberspace--providing ample fodder for an empowered Republican Party as it prepares to take control of the House next month.

The rules were adopted on a 3-2 partisan vote, with the agency's three Democrats backing passage and the two Republican commissioners strongly opposed. The regulations are designed to ensure that the Internet is not dominated by major telecommunications and cable companies. They prohibit anti-competitive blocking and degrading of competing online services and are enforceable by the agency.

Dismissing the regulations as an unnecessary government intrusion in the marketplace, Republicans in both chambers vowed to try to block them, while industry and watchdog critics sharpened their legal daggers as they made plans to challenge the rules in court. To read more, click here.

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