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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to approve new net neutrality rules by reclassifying broadband as a regulated public utility, over the objections of the commission's Republican members and large broadband providers.
It's been an unusually tough few months for Big Telecom. The industry, which enjoys a generally friendly regulatory climate, has plenty of influence in Congress and with state and local governments across the country.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has redefined advanced broadband as having 25Mbps download speeds, up from 4Mbps, giving the agency new authority to pass rules to encourage deployment across the country.
A group of 38 mayors and other elected officials from cities like Boston, Seattle, and Kansas City Thursday urged the FCC to strike down state laws that restrict the development of public high-speed Internet services and allow municipal networks to flourish.
The tech industry's most influential companies spent record amounts of money on federal lobbying in 2014 despite a general drop in lobbying by most tech companies. The spending was often directed at areas away from the central business of technology, and it indicates how diverse and powerful major tech companies are becoming.
AT&T and Google have talked up plans to extend supercharged broadband speeds to several U.S. cities and offer lesser service for free to underserved areas. But whether they, and other providers, can bridge the nation's digital divide without federal help remains to be seen.
It's difficult to predict how an appeals court will rule after it hears arguments Monday in Verizon Communication's challenge of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules.
The most popular Web sites are under increasing pressure to add support for IPv6, a long-anticipated upgrade to IPv4, the Internet's main communications protocol.
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