Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined the concrete actions he believes the Commission must take to preserve the free and open Internet at a speech at The Brookings Institution on Monday.
The Internet is an extraordinary platform for innovation, job creation, investment, and
opportunity. It has unleashed the potential of entrepreneurs and enabled the launch and growth of
small businesses across America, said Chairman Genachowski. It is vital that we safeguard
the free and open Internet."
The Commission previously embraced four open Internet principles affirming that consumers
must be able to access the lawful Internet content, applications, and services of their choice, and attach non-harmful devices to the network. These four principles guide the FCC's existing case-by-case enforcement of communications law.
In today's speech, Chairman Genachowski proposed the addition of two new principles. The first
would prevent Internet access providers from discriminating against particular Internet content or applications, while allowing for reasonable network management. The second principle would ensure that Internet access providers are transparent about the network management practices they implement. The Chairman also proposed clarifying that all six principles apply to all platforms that access the Internet.
Chairman Genachowski will seek to begin the process of codifying the Commission's existing
four open Internet principles, along with the two additional principles, through a Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) at the October meeting. The NPRM will ask for input and
feedback on the proposed rules and their application, such as how to determine whether network management practices are reasonable, what information broadband providers should disclose
about their network management practices and how the rules apply to differing platforms,
including mobile Internet access services.
"I look forward to working with my Commission colleagues on this important initiative," Chairman Genachowski said. Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Clyburn, and Baker each bring a unique and important perspective to the complex issues at stake and I look forward to getting their input and insight when we kick-off the rulemaking process next month."
As part of Chairman Genachowski's commitment to openness and transparency, the FCC launched a new website, www.openInternet.gov to encourage public participation.