Net neutrality

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It’s not always easy to follow the bureaucrats, but Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined actions he says the FCC must take to preserve the free and open Internet. The FCC’s existing case-by-case enforcement of communications law is already guided by four open Internet principles that say that consumers must be able

  • to access all lawful Internet content
  • to access all lawful applications and
  • to access all lawful services of their choice
  • and to attach any non-harmful device to the network.

Mr. Genachowski has now proposed two new principles, saying that Internet access providers

  • must be prevented from discriminating against particular Internet content or applications, although they must be allowed to manage networks reasonably
  • must be transparent about their network management practices.

It’s a complicated world out there, and some of the corporations oppose net neutrality as limiting technological and market development, especially in wireless services. But as one comment says, “If AT&T doesn’t like it, that’s a very good sign.” For a good overview of the concept and the players involved, see Wikipedia. Also see  http://openinternet.gov, set up by the Obama administration, where the public can watch Mr. Genachowski’s speech and post comments.

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