Thursday, December 2, 2010

FCC: Updates to Net Neutrality Guidelines

The FCC will vote on the Net Neutrality proposal on December 21st (here). The agenda item is:

"Open Internet Order: An Order adopting basic rules of the road to preserve the open Internet as a platform for innovation, investment, competition, and free expression. These rules would protect consumers’ and innovators’ right to know basic information about broadband service, right to send and receive lawful Internet traffic, and right to a level playing field, while providing broadband Internet access providers with the flexibility to reasonably manage their networks."

However, the basic rules are a bit different from what the FCC presented before. Chairman Genachowski statement - "Remarks on Preserving Internet Freedom and Openness" (here) provides the details for the 5 rules:  
  1. Transparency to customers ("like how networks are being managed")
  2. Right to send and receive lawful Internet traffic ("Thus, the proposed framework would prohibit the blocking of lawful content, apps, services, and the connection of non-harmful devices to the network")
  3. Will not allow "unreasonable discrimination in transmitting lawful network traffic". This is a major change -  look for my next post, on Comcast's "settlement-free peering" 
  4. Reasonable network management ("to deal with traffic that’s harmful to the network or unwanted by users, and to address the effects of congestion")
  5. Nevertheless, since "mobile broadband is at an earlier stage of development than fixed broadband, and is evolving rapidly .. the proposal takes important but measured steps in this area -- including transparency and a basic no blocking rule".
So the first 4 rules are for fixed broadband services only. Sounds familiar? look at the "Google/Verizon Net Neutrality Compromise" (here).

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