The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has just classified Internet providers, broadband and wireless, as public utilities. As such, Internet providers will need to follow many of the same federal regulations imposed on telephone companies. The rule's effect is allegedly aimed at providing users equal access to all Web traffic by preventing cable and telecommunications companies from controlling what people see on the Web. More specifically, the rule bans providers of high-speed Internet access from blocking Web sites they don’t like or auctioning off faster traffic speeds to the highest bidders. Proponents of the rule claim that consumers should not see any immediate changes to what they see on the Internet and that there would be no new federal taxes or fees put on Internet service providers. Opponents claim that the new rule will stifle research and development and could mean new taxes and fees from state governments. The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association ("WISPA") is concerned that could have an adverse effect on small businesses. Others claim that it opens the door for the FCC to regulate Internet content. Unfortunately, despite the rule's passage, the precise language of the FCC’s rules has not yet been revealed. It may take weeks for the regulations to be published in the Federal Register, when they will be made public. Stay tuned...we are certain that lawsuits will follow.