February 26, 2015 the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules to protect net neutrality. This is in response to a court decision in April 2010, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not have the authority to impose net neutrality regulations on Internet providers. The decision was made in the context of a court case against Comcast for throttling certain internet applications.
The new rules reclassify broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Title II applies to "common carriers" which in 1934 meant telephone companies providing voice communications. It explicitly prevents common carriers from discriminating among users to “make any unjust or unreasonable discrimination in charges, practices, classifications, regulations, facilities, or services.” The new rules also cite Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which a court has interpreted as an independent grant of authority to the FCC that supports the adoption of open Internet rules. The new rules apply to both fixed and mobile (wireless) broadband service. Net Neutrality has been strongly supported by the Obama administration and content providers like Google.
Referred to as "Bright Line Rules", the new rules specifically prohibit blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization by broadband providers.
A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.
A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of Internet content, application, or service, or use of a non-harmful device, subject to reasonable network management.
No Paid Prioritization
No “fast lanes”. Broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind.
The Open Internet Rules and Order can be found here.