They pretty much had to do this. The public outcry was immense. In fact from what I read it was the largest amount of comments in favor that the FCC had ever gotten in any notice of proposed rule making.
The two most important things – the carriers like Comcast, Cox, Verizon et al will no longer be able to give paid prioritization to content providers on broadband networks. Nor will they be able to block providers.
Of course you know the broadband carriers are going to fight this all the way. It’ll be tied up in court for a while but I’ll tell you what their point of contention is going to be and it’s that they believe regulation will stifle innovation.
Let me dispel this myth – it’s not true. When Ma Bell was regulated to the hilt she still a) made a hell of a profit and b) innovated like crazy. Need I remind you that the transistor was invented by Bell Labs scientists, in addition to doing things like improving microwave systems due to the invention of the MASER and perfecting the LASER. Not to mention that just ahead the breakup of Ma Bell she had been on a rapid replacement cycle for Class 5 central offices and the long distance network switches. To the point of where the cost to carry a long distance call was in the hundredths of a cent per minute. Which is sort of why on your cell you don’t pay extra for long distance calls these days.