Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

FCC Chair's Remarks On Open Internet Access

From the FCC

“Over the past months we have worked to preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet, based on the conviction that an open Internet is vital to innovation and private investment, competition, and free speech. 


“These efforts -- including the dedicated work of FCC staff and participation by a broad range of stakeholders -- have over time changed the terms of a longstanding and acrimonious debate. We have moved from a world of four disputed and unenforceable open Internet principles -- about blocking by broadband providers of lawful online content, applications, and services -- toward the acceptance of six enforceable rules: the original four principles plus the concepts of nondiscrimination and transparency. These would prevent broadband providers from wrongly playing favorites with lawful Internet speech or businesses, and would empower consumers and entrepreneurs with information about broadband choices and networks.


“We have made progress over the last year -- but of course we still have work to do. Today, we take the next step.


“Recent events have highlighted questions on how open Internet rules should apply to ‘specialized’ services and to mobile broadband -- what framework will guarantee Internet freedom and openness, and maximize private investment and innovation. As we’ve seen, the issues are complex, and the details matter. Even a proposal for enforceable rules can be flawed in its specifics and risk undermining the fundamental goal of preserving the open Internet.


“Accordingly, the FCC’s Wireline and Wireless Bureaus are seeking further public comment on issues related to ‘specialized’ (or ‘managed’) services and mobile broadband. The information received through this inquiry, along with the record developed to date, will help complete our efforts to establish an enforceable framework to preserve Internet freedom and openness.


“As we move forward, the FCC will continue to be vigilant in guarding against threats to Internet freedom. We will be focused on a vision of a ubiquitous and superfast Internet, with flourishing entrepreneurship and vibrant start-ups, and massive private investment in Internet infrastructure, content, and services -- an Internet that is an engine for our economy, and provides a world of knowledge and free speech accessible to all.”

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