The debate over net neutrality – and whether ISPs should be prevented from blocking or slowing certain kinds of internet traffic on their network – has been heated in the US. Now the Federal Communications Commission has stepped in, with chairman Julius Genachowski giving a speech in favour of “a free and open Internet”. Specifically, he endorsed the FCC’s existing principles that ISPs “cannot prevent users from accessing the lawful Internet content, applications and services of their choice”, while adding two new stipulations: that they “cannot discriminate against particular Internet content or applications”, and that they “must be transparent about their network management practices.” All this has implications for ISPs keen to throttle BitTorrent and other P2P traffic.

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