The Net Neutrality Fan-boy

Net neutrality fans cheered when Julius Genachowski was made the chairman of the FCC.  This week, he delivered an address at the Brookings Institute (which he followed up with an editorial in the Huffington Post ) that made his case for an open Internet. One of the problems facing Internet access in the US, he said, is that the major ISPs also sell phone and cable service to their Internet users.  And he acknowledges that the ISPs are feeling the pinch from the explosion of growing Internet use. In about a month, the FCC will vote on whether to make the guidelines he stated into actual rules. Those guidelines include a prohibition on blocking online content and applications. He also stated that wireless as well as wired networks be covered by these rules – he came across as a true believer in innovation and entrepreneurship, and promises a fair proceeding that is driven by data and that listens to everyone.  He wants the FCC to add two principles: nondiscrimination and transparency. To further that aim, the FCC has created a website, now in beta,, that will provide a forum for discussion about how an open Internet can be maintained.  And in that vein, says Fast Company, “There’s also a wonderful, if subtle, alternative thing to think about concerning this news — or, specifically, how it’s delivered … The FCC is not known to be a massively communicative beast … But Genachowski’s speech was uploaded in its entirety before he made it at the website, and a live screen-cast was also broadcast via the same service … This is an incredibly powerful display of communication to the public, perhaps drawing its power from the fact we’re not all that used to such openness.”



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