IT Compliance Advisor

Sep 21 2009   2:29PM GMT

FCC launches, proposes new Net neutrality principles

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In a speech delivered to a packed briefing room at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed two new principles for Net neutrality: nondiscrimination and transparency.

“The Internet is an extraordinary platform for innovation, job creation, investment and opportunity. It has unleashed the potential of entrepreneurs and enabled the launch and growth of small businesses across America,” said Genachowski. “It is vital that we safeguard the free and open Internet.”

The speech, “Preserving a Free and Open Internet: A Platform for Innovation, Opportunity, and Prosperity,” outlined the reasons for supporting a more aggressive approach to regulating broadband providers. You can watch it below:

“Network operators cannot prevent users from accessing the lawful Internet content, applications and services of their choice, nor can they prohibit users from attaching nonharmful devices to the network,” said Genachowski, reaffirming the four open Internet principles outlined by his predecessor, Michael Powell.

In today’s speech, Genachowski added two new principles for consideration. According to the prepared release provided by the FCC:

“The first would prevent Internet access providers from discriminating against particular Internet content or applications, while allowing for reasonable network management.

“The second principle would ensure that Internet access providers are transparent about the network management practices they implement.”

The chairman said that he will now seek to begin the process of codifying the commission’s existing four open Internet principles, along with the two additional principles, through a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” at an upcoming October meeting.

The FCC is now soliciting further input and feedback on the proposed rules and application of these rules, including how to determine “whether network management practices are reasonable, what information broadband providers should disclose about their network management practices and how the rules apply to differing platforms, including mobile Internet access services.”

“I look forward to working with my Commission colleagues on this important initiative,” Genachowski said. “Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Clyburn and Baker each bring a unique and important perspective to the complex issues at stake, and I look forward to getting their input and insight when we kick off the rulemaking process next month.”

As part of Genachowski’s commitment to openness and transparency, the FCC launched a new website,, to encourage public participation in the process.

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