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FCC Prepares To Vote On Net Neutrality Rules

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing to vote on the net neutrality plans proposed by chairman Julius Genachowski.

According to the proposed guidelines, Internet service providers will not be allowed to block access to lawful websites and services, and will also be restricted from favouring particular sites with faster connection speeds.

The FCC is, however, allowing wireless broadband providers to create tiers and pricing packages for end users based on the content they want to access from their mobile devices.

Genachowski said of the proposal: "We're adopting a framework that will increase certainty for businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs. We're taking an approach that will help foster a cycle of massive investment, innovation and consumer demand both at the edge and in the core of our broadband networks."

According to Reuters, the authority of the FCC has been in doubt after the watchdog failed to stop Comcast from blocking bandwidth throttling applications in April.

Consumer advocacy groups have also condemned the plans, with Craig Aaron of Free Press saying in a statement: "These rules appear to be flush with giant loopholes, and the FCC chairman seems far more concerned with winning the endorsement of AT&T and the cable lobbyists than with listening to the millions of Americans who have pleaded with him to fix his proposal."