Report: FCC will formalize Net neutrality rule
The agency doesn't want Internet providers selectively blocking or slowing traffic
IDG News Service - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is planning to create formal rules against Internet providers selectively blocking or slowing traffic, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will announce Net neutrality rulemaking during a speech Monday, the Journal reported. Net neutrality rules would prohibit Internet providers from blocking or slowing their customers' access to Web sites or Web applications. A FCC spokeswoman did not immediately return a message seeking confirmation of the Journal story.
Since mid-2005, the FCC has said it will enforce four broadband policy principles, saying consumers have a right to access the legal Internet content of their choice, and they are entitled to run Web applications and services of their choice.
But the FCC has never made formal Net neutrality rules. Broadband provider Comcast filed a lawsuit challenging the FCC's authority to enforce the principles after the agency ruled last August that Comcast had to stop slowing peer-to-peer traffic in the name of network management.
Genachowski is planning on launching a formal rulemaking process on Net neutrality, the Journal reported. The rules would apply not only to wireline broadband providers, but also to wireless networks run by companies such as AT&T and Verizon, the newspaper said.
Rulemaking could give the FCC more authority to enforce Net neutrality. A bill in the U.S. Congress would also spell out that the FCC has that authority.
Net neutrality advocates welcomed the news.
"The Internet was created and grew up under strict nondiscrimination rules," said Gigi Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, a digital rights advocacy group. "Those same ideas are as valuable today as they were 10 years ago. Having rules in place will bring a degree of certainty that will help both carriers and consumers alike. Carriers will know what is allowed and what is not; consumers will be relieved to know they will be able to have access to any content and service on a nondiscriminatory basis."
Some critics have suggested Net neutrality rules would hamper investment in new broadband pipes, because the broadband providers could not control what runs over their networks.
Sohn disagreed. "Rather, as in the past, they will encourage investment in the kinds of innovation and technology that will help move our economy forward," she said.
Free Press, a media reform group, called the rulemaking a "big win for consumers."
A representative of Comcast declined to comment pending Genachowski's speech. Verizon Wireless will wait until Genachowski's speech before making a comment, a spokesman of that company said.
But Randolph May, president of conservative think tank the Free State Foundation, said it is "discouraging" that the FCC is considering new broadband regulations.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Government Agency Webifies Outdated COBOL Applications Let this CTO tell you how his agency converted 1980s-era green screens into an e-filing portal for the 100,000 cases handled each year...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts