July 6, 2017
US broadband providers looking to take a slice of the government’s $7.2 billion broadband stimulus package will have to sign up to net neutrality regulations, the Obama administration ruled this week.
Companies that win grants to build new broadband infrastructure will have to follow the Federal Communications Commission’s Internet Policy statement, which bans companies from blocking or slowing internet traffic on their networks.
The policy requires that internet access is not limited based on a user’s software, hardware, or service provider.
Grant winners must “not favor any lawful Internet applications and content over others,” the policy states.
The rules will also apply to wireless broadband providers.
Consumer rights groups welcomed the Obama administration’s grant guidelines regarding net neutrality.
Broadband providers have not yet commented, although it is known that they oppose net neutrality.
Grants will be available for any regions ‘underserved’ by broadband, where fewer than 50% of households have no access to broadband.
In May this year, EU regulators voted in favour of the Habour Report, a decision that Internet rights groups fear will see an end to net neutrality in Europe.