The FCC started an inquiry last week into whether broadband providers including Verizon, AT&T and Comcast are stifling competition by keeping faster Web connections for their own services, blocking rivals' offerings or implementing policies to charge higher access fees to Web competitors such as Yahoo! or Google. However, both net-neutrality advocates and broadband providers agree the probe is unlikely to uncover any serious violations, raising questions as to what the investigation will accomplish.

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