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FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules, What Does This Mean For The UK

So it’s likely you’ve seen in the news lately the discussion over “Net Neutrality”, many of you will have no idea what this means and those that do may not know how it affects us in the UK. The FCC or Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency in the USA and their role is to regulate communications. They have just passed a bill classifying broadband as a utility, giving them more control over it and allowing them to instigate net neutrality.

This is not Net Neutrality


In a nutshell, net neutrality should mean Internet Service Providers (ISPs) shouldn’t be allowed to differentiate between traffic on their networks. This should prevent them giving favourable bandwidth to bigger companies such as Netflix. In principle this should mean your personal blog loads as fast as the YouTube homepage. If you are in the United States.

So how does this affect us…? It won’t we already had net neutrality because of 2 things in the UK, the first being competition. The UK market is so competitive that if one of our ISPs started giving priority to big business people would just move to another ISP. Even if this weren’t the case the Net Neutrality is guaranteed by law in the EU IIRC already, yes we already did this back in April 2014 and no one even noticed.

The EU defined Net neutrality as this: “ ”Net neutrality” means the principle according to which all internet traffic is treated equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference, independently of its sender, recipient, type, content, device, service or application.” They did however leave one loophole for “Specialised Services” which allows ISPs to give favourable priority to Electronic communication services.

The EU aren’t intending to stop here though, they plan to bring more changes and regulations on the way ISPs function sometime in 2015.