Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The New York Times On the FCC's Proposed New Internet Rules

The New York Times comments on FCC Chair Genachowski's proposed new "rules of the road" for the Internet. Says the editorial in part,

The rules proposed so far have several weaknesses. For one thing, they forbid blocking Internet traffic or “unreasonable” discrimination against carrying some online content. But they do not ban the practice of paying to prioritize some Internet traffic over the rest.

Even more problematic is the treatment of the fast-growing new markets for mobile broadband access. While carriers will not be allowed to block Web sites or applications that compete with carriers’ voice and video telephony, the proposal exempts wireless from the rule barring unreasonable discrimination on the grounds that wireless broadband is new and unsettled.

Absent a bar against anticompetitive discrimination, carriers could stop competing GPS or mapping applications from running on their networks. The rules might even allow carriers to block the application used by a company like Netflix to stream movies onto a mobile device to aid their own movie businesses.

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