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FCC Angers Everyone With Neutrality Rules

In what seemed like a win for Net Neutrality supporters, the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday adopted new rules to govern how Internet providers treat Web traffic and services. On both sides of the debate, however, many are unhappy with the development.

"Some people are decrying the new rules as backward (including Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell), warning that they'll 'inhibit innovation and investment,'" writes Search Engine Land. "Many consumer advocates, however, believe the opposite that they don't offer sufficient consumer protection and are too friendly to corporations."

Under the headline, "Net Neutrality Passes, Immediately Pisses Everyone Off," Gawker writes that the new rules discouraging Internet access providers from charging websites for favorable treatment are, in fact, "a terrible surrender to big business, or alternatively a communist plot."

Indeed, "The rules will give government, for the first time, a substantive role in how the Internet will be operated and managed, how broadband services will be priced and structured, and potentially how broadband networks will be financed," Republican and FCC commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker writes in The Washington Post. "By replacing market forces and technological solutions with bureaucratic oversight, we may see an Internet future not quite as bright as we need, with less investment, less innovation and more congestion."

What's more, according to Verizon: "This assertion of authority without solid statutory underpinnings will yield continued uncertainty for industry, innovators and investors."

Yet, broadband carriers like Verizon, and Republicans like McDowell and Attwell, aren't the only ones pouting.

"More surprising were the howls of dissatisfaction coming from net neutrality's backers," ars technica writes. "Didn't they just get what they wanted?"

Apparently not. "Despite promising to fulfill President Obama's campaign promise of enacting Network Neutrality rules to protect an open Internet, the FCC has instead prioritized the profits of corporations like AT&T over those of the general public, Internet entrepreneurs, and local businesses across the country," Sascha Meinrath of the New America Foundation said Tuesday. "These failures place the Internet in peril of evolving into a system that will more and more resemble another cable network rather than an open Internet."

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