FCC approves net neutrality rules

London, Feb 27 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reportedly approved net neutrality rules that will prohibit paid prioritisation, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services in the United States, a report said.

The changes proposed by Chairman Tom Wheeler got the commission's nod after three commissioners voted in favour as opposed to two who voted against it, reported the BBC.

The U. S. Telecommunications Industry Association has asked broadband providers to "immediately" take legal action over the rule changes.

The new set of rules reclassified broadband access as a telecommunications service, which meant that it will be subject to much heavier regulation. The guidelines would prevent broadband providers from blocking or speeding up internet connections for a fee, stifle paid prioritization and interconnection deals where content companies pay broadband providers to connect to their networks.

Companies who feel that "unjust fees" have been levied may complain to the FCC under the new regulations.

The report added that all the rules will apply to mobile providers and fixed line providers as well.

The FCC has decided to not apply some sections of the new rules, including price controls.

Ahead of the vote, the commission heard to a variety of net neutrality advocates, including the chief executive of online marketplace Etsy and a TV drama writer. Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee also contributed via video link.

Columbia Law School Prof Tim Wu, who originally coined the phrase net neutrality, hailed the day as a "historic day" in the history of the internet and remarked that it marked the beginning of a new era of how communications are regulated in the U. S. He said that that net neutrality long existed as a principle but now, it had been codified in a way that will likely survive court scrutiny.

He also lauded the Obama Administration and the FCC by saying that they can "consider the rule a legacy achievement." (ANI)