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US bares its net neutrality enforcement regime to world+dog

FCC promises ombudsman, fines and possible legal action

US regulators have finally detailed how they'll enforce net neutrality among broadband carriers and service providers.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) two weeks ago formally approved a new set of rules that would impose net neutrality.

However, the body didn’t say how the rules would be imposed.

On Thursday the regulator published a 400-page document ending the mystery, here.

The rules apply to fixed and mobile broadband.

The FCC has said it may enforce the open internet rules through investigation and processing of complaints, enforcement advisories and a special ombudsman.

Rule breakers will be liable to fines, cease and desist orders or prosecution, the FCC said, vowing to review any complaints on a case-by-case-basis

The Commission said it was tearing through more than 700 codified rules and statutory provisions to introduce a “light-touch” regulatory framework.

Under the rules, the FCC sets three basic rules.

There can be no minimum level of access standard; the FCC has banned not just blocking but actions that inhibits or slows delivery of content, apps and services. Paid prioritization of traffic is also banned.

To ensure all is fair, carriers and service providers will be asked to disclose commercial terms for prices, fees, data caps and any allowances.

While some of this data had been expected in the past, the FCC said it now requires that the information always be disclosed.

With respect to performance the FCC will now want to see data on packet loss in information on network performance – previously it was only speed and latency.

So-called “small service providers” are granted a temporary exemption from disclosures although this may became a permanent exemption, the FCC said. ®

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