Deep divisions over whether U.S. gov't should regulate Internet

16:45, December 24, 2010      

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Deep divisions have surfaced over the question of whether the U.S. government should regulate the Internet after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new regulations on Internet service.

The FCC vote on Tuesday showed a bipartisan fight over Internet regulations. Three Democrats voted yes while two Republicans voted no on the new regulations designed to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or interfering with online content they send to homes and businesses.

The FCC regulations prohibit broadband companies from secretly restricting Internet services, and require that they make information about how their networks function.

The regulations also forbid service providers from blocking any kind of lawful online traffic, and ban the providers from engaging in "unreasonable discrimination" that would result in some Internet content being given favorable treatment, including faster download speeds.

The regulations cover both landline Internet services and the wireless data networks.

However, wireless companies will have greater freedom to bar services that might place too much stress on their systems because they can handle less traffic than landline services.

The 3 to 2 vote by the FCC demonstrated the polarized reactions from the public over Internet regulations.

By George Bao, Xinhua

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