FCC Chief Endorses Usage-Based Pricing, Outlines Net Neutrality Proposal

By

After receiving more than 100,000 comments from concerned Americans, the Federal Communications Commission’s top official said the FCC has reached an “important milestone” in its effort to protect Internet freedom and openness. 

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told reporters yesterday he circulated draft rules which endorsed the idea that broadband providers could charge extra for providing heavy Internet users with lots of online video or data-heavy services such as videogames, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The policies set forth by Genachowski could be adopted as soon as this month, which he said would advance a set of core goals: “It would ensure that the Internet remains a powerful platform for innovation and job creation; it would empower consumers and entrepreneurs; it would protect free expression; it would increase certainty in the marketplace, and spur investment both at the edge and in the core of our broadband networks.”  

The FCC is expected to discuss the controversial issue of net neutrality at its meeting to be held on Dec. 21, after the chairman released a draft proposal to FCC colleagues this week.

Genachowski also backed “usage-based pricing” while outlining proposed rules that would bar Internet providers from deliberately tampering or slowing legal Web traffic. The Journal said that support for pay-as-you-go pricing represents a victory for cable and telecommunications companies “because it clarified whether broadband providers had the power to charge by what users consumed.”

The proposed framework would also prohibit the blocking of lawful content, apps, services, and the connection of non-harmful devices to the network, Genachowski said. The FCC, he added, would “closely monitor the development of the mobile broadband market and be prepared to step in to further address anti-competitive or anti-consumer conduct as appropriate.”

“We were appreciative of them clarifying it,” said AT&T Inc. Senior Vice President Robert W. Quinn Jr. told the Wall Street Journal.

Net neutrality has been a controversial topic for months: As TechZone360 reported in August, Verizon and Google proposed a scenario in which consumers would have an open “wired” Internet, but with significant exclusions for wireless broadband. This proposal would allow carriers to charge content companies more money for faster access and possibly block certain services from reaching customers at all, TechZone360 reported based on a Smartcomm letter.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Journey Mapping: Cultivating a Mindset for Security Awareness

By: Special Guest    4/19/2021

When was the last time you crawled inside someone's mind? You would probably perceive it as not a very comfortable place to be. After all, people are …

Read More

Cisco Named Official Technology Partner of NFL

By: Luke Bellos    4/15/2021

Cisco and The NFL have formed a strategic partnership to form a league-wide platform for unified network connectivity.

Read More

Finding the Right Chemistry: Investing in the Future of Advanced Materials

By: Arti Loftus    4/13/2021

Like Gorilla Glass for smartphones, the application of Advanced Materials has the potential to revolutionize products, and this is driving an increasi…

Read More

Driving the Future Forward with Advanced Lithium-Ion Batteries: Made in Alabama

By: Arti Loftus    4/12/2021

The current limitations of battery technology are the main obstacles preventing the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) - including their c…

Read More

3 Types of Interactive Content and Why Marketers Use It

By: Special Guest    4/8/2021

Content is good, interactive content is better. We all know content is king, and while nobody would deny this, it's actually interactivity that makes …

Read More