FCC to formalise ‘net neutrality’


21 Sep 2009

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In order to encourage a free and open internet, the chairman of the independent US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed the addition of two more principles to its existing four guidelines.

The FCC currently has four open internet principles stating that consumers are entitled access to lawful internet content, applications and services of their choice, as well as attach non-harmful devices to the network.

To this, the FCC wants to add two more principles: "The first would prevent internet access providers from discriminating against particular internet content or applications, while allowing for reasonable network management," read the statement.

The second principle would ensure that ISPs are open about the network management practices they implement.

"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 FCC chairman Julius Genachowski at a speech at The Brookings Institution earlier today.

"It is vital that we safeguard the free and open internet," he stated.

Interestingly – as the Wall Street Journal points out – if the FCC forces wireless carriers to take certain data-heavy services like streaming video, this may cripple those networks.

Already, some iPhone users on the US AT&T network are complaining of spotty service, which is down to the fact that there are too many data heavy users in heavily populated urban areas, including New York and San Francisco.

In fact, earlier this year AT&T restricted Skype for its iPhone users, saying it was due to traffic bottlenecking.

Photo: To encourage a free and open internet, the chairman of the independent US Federal Communications Commission has proposed the addition of two more principles to its existing four guidelines.

By Marie Boran, via Gadgetrepublic.com

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