US Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality Rules Allow For Telcos To Operate 5G Fast Lanes

As the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to vote on net neutrality regulations on April 25, some like Stanford Law Professor Barbara van Schewick and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have argued the regulations leave room for 5G fast lanes. This is because of their lack of clarity on what constitutes throttling, which typically means intentional slowing down or speeding up of content by an internet service provider. “While draft order acknowledges that some speeding up of apps could violate the no-throttling rule, it added some unclear, nebulous language suggesting that the FCC would review any fast lanes case-by-case, without explaining how it would do that,” Van Schewick said in her blog post. She added that FCC draft orders on net neutrality allow for fast lanes, provided that app providers are not charged for them. Van Schewick explained that American telecom companies like T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon are all testing ways to create these 5G fast lanes for apps such as video conferencing, games, and video where the internet service provider (ISP) chooses and controls what gets boosted. It is doing so using a technical feature of 5G technology called network slicing.