FCC on Net Neutrality
Monday, September 21, 2009 at 11:07 PM EDT
Today, Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, gave a widely-awaited speech on the subject of Net Neutrality. He pointed out (correctly, in my view) that much of the success of the Internet, including its success in areas undreamed-of by its founders, is in large part due to its open standards and architecture.
His proposal for moving forward is centered on the development of four principles that the FCC has already articulated for addressing individual cases:
He proposes extending this framework by adding two additional principles of non-discrimination and transparency:
He also believes that this framework should in principle apply to all broadband providers, whether fixed-line or mobile, with the understanding that some details may need to be adjusted for particular service environments:
The chairmanâ€™s intention is to embody some more specific proposals in a forthcoming Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, to make them available for public discussion and comment. The FCC has also launched a new Web site, www.openinternet.gov, to provide a focus for discussion. (Perhaps taking a leaf from Googleâ€™s notebook, the site is even labeled as â€œbetaâ€œ.)
This seems to me to be a positive development for consumers. We can expect to hear some noisy opposition, particularly from the large network providers, who would very much like to find a way to skim some revenue from the streams of data that are flowing through their particular â€œtubesâ€; if past experience is any guide, some of these arguments will be (to use a lovely British phrase) quite economical with the truth.
This article originally appeared on Rich's Random Walks.