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Expect Net neutrality rules at FCC speech Monday

Rules that prevent Internet service providers from selectively blocking sites from their networks are likely to be unveiled next week in Washington, WSJ reports.

New government rules that support Net neutrality, specifically rules that prevent Internet service providers from selectively blocking sites from their networks, are expected to be unveiled in Washington on Monday, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

During a speech on Monday, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to unveil a new rule that would require all Internet providers--including wireless carriers--to use "reasonable" network-management practices in dealing with Internet traffic, unnamed sources told the WSJ.

The carriers have argued against such rules, noting that not all sites are created equal and that some, with their heavy data usage, are creating network traffic jams. But open-Internet advocates say that Net neutrality rules are years past due. In a statement, Gigi B. Sohn, president of Washington-based Public Knowledge, said:

The Internet was created and grew up under strict non-discrimination rules. Those same ideas are as valuable today as they were 10 years ago. Having rules in place will bring a degree of certainty that will help both carriers and consumers alike. Carriers will know what is allowed and what is not; consumers will be relieved to know they will be able to have access to any content and service on a non-discriminatory basis. We are confident that Net Neutrality rules will not hamper investment, as some critics have charged. Rather, as in the past, they will encourage investment in the kinds of innovation and technology that will help move our economy forward.

The new rule would go before the full commission for a vote next month. The WSJ notes that the three democratic members of the five-person commission support Net neutrality.

This story originally appeared on ZDNet's Between the Lines.