Bad news for service providers: FCC now favors net neutrality

In what's being touted as a win for Internet companies like Amazon and Google and a setback--until the court cases begin, of course--for cable players like Comcast and Time Warner, the FCC plans to place the Internet under the same regulatory blanket as telecom.

According to multiple reports, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will today announce a policy that bars companies from favoring their own Web content and services but stops short of controlling rates for those services.

The FCC's actions have been anticipated since an April 6 court ruling that the Commission did not have the authority to sanction Comcast for throttling what it considered overzealous bandwidth users. Some earlier reports had even suggested that the FCC would back off the whole matter. Today's action shows that the agency has not backed off and has, instead, adopted what some believe is a step too far in trying to control the unwieldy Internet.

Whatever the case, the next step will undoubtedly be a slew of lawsuits and legal action that will tie up any kind of regulation for the foreseeable future.

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