On September 23, 2011, the FCC’s year-old "Open Internet Order" and associated net neutrality rules were published in the Federal Register. This event triggered a 60-day countdown until November 20 for the order and rules to go into effect.
In short, the FCC’s new rules will require three things once effective. First, the rules will require fixed and mobile broadband providers to disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of their broadband services. Second, fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, and mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services. Third, fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.
Opponents are now trying to keep the new rules from becoming effective as planned. The most notable of these efforts is Verizon, who has initiated a federal lawsuit in Washington DC against the FCC to block the rules. Supporters of rules have also filed suits around the country seeking to keep Verizon’s challenge out of the DC federal court, which has previously rejected FCC efforts to enforce net neutrality principles. However, the efforts of these supporters were thwarted with the random selection of the DC court to review the FCC’s new rules.