FCC Chairman to Lay Out Net Neutrality Plan

By Cindy Waxer December 01, 2010

Federal regulators are gearing up to present “network neutrality” rules today that are just as likely to prohibit phone and cable companies from blocking Internet traffic as they are to ruffle the feathers of House Republicans.

In a speech today, Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will outline a proposal that would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or degrading online traffic flowing over their networks. The plan, which is likely to be brought to a vote by year’s end, has pitted Internet giants against phone and cable titans.

Internet behemoths such as Google and Skype argue that regulations are needed to prevent phone and cable operators from blocking Internet phone calls, online video and other web services that compete with their primary lines of business. Phone and cable companies like AT&T and Verizon, on the other hand, argue that they need the flexibility to manage network traffic in order to prevent performance problems such as bandwidth constraints and hogged capacity.

In the past, the Obama administration has backed net neutrality, making it a top campaign pledge to the technology industry. In an interview broadcast on YouTube back in January, President Obama said, “We’re getting pushback, obviously, from some of the bigger carriers who would like to be able to charge more fees and extract more money from wealthier customers. But we think that runs counter to the whole spirit of openness that has made the Internet such a powerful engine for not only economic growth, but also for the generation of ideas and creativity.”

Genachowski’s proposal is expected to be less drastic than earlier incarnations and industry observers are hopeful that it will signal a compromise for cable companies and Internet companies alike. In fact, according to an advance copy of his remarks made available to reporters and published by the Associated Press, Genachowski argues that his plan would “culminate recent efforts to find common ground” and foster “rules of the road to preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet.”

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

Related Articles

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More