FCC to vote on net neutrality rules

Indeed, the online file-sharing service blocked by Comcast was used in large part to trade movies and other video over the internet. Net-neutrality proponents also want rules to ensure that broadband companies cannot favor their own online traffic or the traffic of business partners that can pay for priority access.

Many higher-education technology officials also support net-neutrality rules to ensure that smaller institutions without massive technology budgets are on a level playing field with their larger counterparts in being able to deliver online content to students.

But the phone and cable companies insist they need flexibility to manage network traffic so that high-bandwidth applications—such as online video—don’t hog capacity and slow down their systems.

They say this is particularly true for wireless networks. The communications companies also argue that after spending billions to upgrade their lines for broadband, they need to be able earn a healthy return by offering premium services.