"The FCC's proposal will take into account the bandwidth limitations faced by wireless carriers, according to people familiar with the plan, and would ask how such rules should apply to current networks.
"The rules could encourage big Internet companies to launch new data-intensive services by establishing that their traffic can't be slowed or blocked. In the business market, companies that make Internet-phone services or video-conferencing software may invest more heavily in those services, some analysts say.
"The rules are likely to be a big boon to smaller tech companies, like Silicon Valley start-ups and small makers of mobile software for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and other devices, that wouldn't be able to afford paying Internet providers for special access.
"Any company or piece of software that becomes popular, generating a lot of traffic, would tend to benefit," said Jonathan Zittrain, the co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
"The new rules, expected to be announced Monday by Julius Genachowski, the FCC Chairman, will outline requirements for ISPs to treat all traffic on the Internet equally. This means that Comcast canâ€™t decide that Google gets less bandwidth and Microsoft/Bing (Bing) gets more for any reason (i.e. one pays for preferential treatment).
"Itâ€™s also expected that the net neutrality rules will apply to wireless services, meaning they would be in effect for Internet data via your phone and 3G networks. The impact of this cannot be understated, especially as iPhones and other smart phones make the mobile web a major part of our lives.
"This will likely garner opposition by ISPs. Thereâ€™s already a court case from Comcast challenging a ruling from the FCC that it had violated its policies. However, with specific rules in place, it will be tougher for the ISPs to challenge net neutrality mandates."
Local group I think I'll check out…. They have a meetup in Berkeley tonight