FCC Previews Net Neutrality Plan, Sets Date for Vote

By Beecher Tuttle December 02, 2010

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday confirmed its intent to vote on net neutrality rules that will forbid phone and cable companies like AT&T and Verizon from blocking or discriminating against legal online traffic.

In a set of prepared remarks, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski outlined the agenda for the Dec. 21, vote and summarized the key points of the proposal, which is sure to raise ire from both sides of the debate.

Over the last three years, major Internet companies like Google and Skype have continually asked the FCC to step in and create net neutrality rules that prohibit broadband companies from blocking IP-based phone calls, online video and other bandwidth-hungry web services. Phone and cable companies have routinely done this in the past to keep their network running at high-speeds and to eliminate access to services that compete with their day-to-day business.

As PC World notes, this pushback began gaining momentum in 2007 when Comcast was accused of blocking consumers from accessing certain peer-to-peer sites that tend to slow network speeds. The new proposal that was hinted at on Wednesday includes a provision that bans companies like Comcast from blocking any legal sites or applications for any reason.

Meanwhile, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast continue to fight for their right to manage traffic as they see fit, and have remained opposed to regulating the Internet. These providers have said that they need to be able to police their own network and have asked the FCC to allow them to charge different rates for bandwidth consumption.

Genachowski has spent the better part of the year dealing with criticisms from both Internet companies and broadband providers. He said on Wednesday that the FCC has finally come up with a fair compromise, which will officially be unveiled later in the month at voting time.

The proposed rules "are consistent with President Obama’s commitment to 'keep the Internet as it should be -- open and free,'" Genachowski noted. "Their adoption would culminate recent efforts to find common ground -- at the FCC, in Congress, and outside government, including approaches advanced by both Democrats and Republicans, and by stakeholders of differing perspectives."

To read Genachowski's full remarks, click here.


Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Why Blockchain Could Be a Gamechanger

By: Paula Bernier    1/22/2018

Blockchain has become closely associated with the controversial topic of cryptocurrency. And that's fine because blockchain is an enabling technology …

Read More

Consumer Privacy in the Digital Era: Three Trends to Watch

By: Special Guest    1/18/2018

Digital advertising has exploded in recent years, with the latest eMarketer data forecasting $83 billion in revenue this year and continued growth on …

Read More

CES 2018: Terabit Fiber - Closer Than We Think

By: Doug Mohney    1/17/2018

One of the biggest challenges for 5G and last mile 10 Gig deployments is not raw data speeds, but middle mile and core networks. The wireless industry…

Read More

10 Benefits of Drone-Based Asset Inspections

By: Frank Segarra    1/15/2018

Although a new and emerging technology, (which is still evolving), in early 2018, most companies are not aware of the possible benefits they can achie…

Read More

VR Could Change Entertainment Forever

By: Special Guest    1/11/2018

VR could change everything from how we play video games to how we interact with our friends and family. VR has the power to change how we consume all …

Read More