In a nearly unanimous decision of 100 votes to one abstention, the Chilean Congress today passed a set of amendments to the General Telecommunications Law making it the first country to mandate network neutrality. Bulletin 4915 states that ISPs must not interfere, discriminate, or in any way hinder access to content, applications or services, except for security measures such as virus protection.

Under the new law, ISPs will also be forced to ensure the integrity of their systems and provide users with parental controls along with guaranteeing their privacy. Additionally, Internet providers will have to be more transparent about contracts, the average and maximum speeds users can expect, and the difference between international and national connections as well as the quality of those services.

This is a huge step in the right direction, and one that the US and other developed nations remain unsuccessful in taking. Chile's move comes only weeks after Finland granted its citizens with the legal right to in-home broadband Internet. Here's to hoping these advancements inspire change elsewhere on our little blue marble.