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FTC to Investigate Need For Net Neutrality

FTC to Investigate Need For Net Neutrality

by , 9:40 AM EDT, August 23rd, 2006

An Internet Access Task Force has been created by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look in to concerns that broadband Internet providers may block or slow down content from some Web sites if there isn't some form of net neutrality protection. According to InfoWorld, the agency plans to evaluate the need for net neutrality legislation, along with the possible consequences.

The idea behind net neutrality is that all Internet-based services - like browsing Web pages, Voice over IP, and watching streaming videos - should be treated equally. Net neutrality proponents claim that legislation is necessary to prohibit broadband service providers from charging companies like Google and Skype fees, or face reduced data transmission speeds, or possibly even having domains blocked from end users.

Deborah Platt Majoras, chairwoman for the FTC, said that so far net neutrality supports have not offered any examples to show where the market is failing at providing equal access to Internet services. She added "While I am sounding cautionary notes about new legislation, let me make clear that if broadband providers engage in anticompetitive conduct, we will not hesitate to act using our existing authority."

The FTC has not said how long the task force investigation is likely to take.

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