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The US government will release a new version of its open internet rules next week that will require Internet service providers to treat Internet users equally, but the biggest Internet service provider is not expected to be included in the new guidelines.
In a press release Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it has asked the Federal Trade Commission to consider the best Internet providers in the US.
The new rules require Internet providers to use “network neutrality” principles that allow all content on the Internet to be treated equally, the FCC said in a statement.
That means that providers like Comcast and Verizon will be prohibited from blocking or throttling traffic on the Web.
However, the new rules don’t apply to content providers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Google and YouTube.
The FCC is asking the FTC to consider a list of Internet service firms to help identify which broadband providers can be considered the best.
The FCC said it will publish the list next week, but it’s not expected that the companies will be included.
The list could include AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox, CenturyLink, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Cox Cable, Frontier, Frontier Communications, DirecTV, Centurylink, Dish Network, TimeWarner Cable, Verizon FiOS, and other providers.
The agency said it wants to create a new regulatory framework to ensure that Internet providers can provide consumers with a level playing field, but Internet providers are worried that the new rule will undermine their business.
Internet service providers have fought the new net neutrality rules, saying the FCC has not sufficiently addressed the issue.
The Federal Trade Commissioner’s office said it supports the FCC’s proposal.
Internet providers also say the FCC rules could lead to more restrictive Internet regulations that will hurt their businesses.
The FTC said it is not expecting to make a decision on the new FCC rules until next year, and the agency has until March 31 to make its recommendations.
The Internet Service Providers Association, a major industry group that represents broadband providers, said in March it supported the FCC.
“We believe the FTC’s recommendation is the best option to ensure the Internet remains open to innovation and free of discriminatory practices, while protecting consumers’ access to high-quality, affordable broadband,” the group said in an emailed statement.