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The Federal Communications Commission has published its Open Internet order. It is 400 pages long.

Aside from the new, explicit embrace of “best effort” access and a ban on paid packet prioritization, the new rules apply the “best effort only” rules to mobile operators for the first time.

The filing of lawsuits challenging the rules will come shortly. One issue is whether the new rules will be “stayed” (not allowed to take effect while the legal challenges remain unsettled) or go into effect relatively immediately.

As a practical matter, since all U.S. ISPs had been offering only best effort access in the consumer market, there is no immediate change on that score, even if the new rules take effect relatively immediately, while court challenges remain in process.

The big change, though, is in the area of network interconnection, which up to this point has been a matter of voluntary interconnection agreements between Internet domains.

The FCC has decided such interconnection between Internet domains is “common carriage,” and now will fall within the Title II rules pertaining to common carrier services.

That is the area where the greatest near-term changes could happen.

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