Internet’s Possible Future in the US Gets Ready to Be Decided

    October 22, 2009
    Chris Crum

Update: The meeting ended and the rule making process will move forward after a unanimous vote. The rules say a provider of broadband Internet access service:

1. would not be allowed to prevent any of its users from sending or receiving the lawful content of the user’s choice over the Internet;

2. would not be allowed to prevent any of its users from running the lawful applications or using the lawful services of the user’s choice;

3. would not be allowed to prevent any of its users from connecting to and using on its network the user’s choice of lawful devices that do not harm the network;

4. would not be allowed to deprive any of its users of the user’s entitlement to competition among network providers, application providers, service providers, and content providers;

5. would be required to treat lawful content, applications, and services in a nondiscriminatory manner; and

6. would be required to disclose such information concerning network management and other practices as is reasonably required for users and content, application, and service providers to enjoy the protections specified in this rulemaking.

Original Article: An open commission meeting is being held with the FCC as I write this, to discuss proposed rule making on preserving an open Internet. Net neutrality rules are expected to be posted later today.

In the meeting, the FCC is proposing the rules and asking for public feedback. But what’s really at stake?

"The fact is, this proceeding will help determine the Internet’s future as the world’s ultimate platform for innovation, economic growth, and free expression," says Google on the company’s Public Policy blog. "Now is the time to have a full, open, transparent dialogue between the American people and their policymakers."

The FCC posted this video about the meeting yesterday:


Major Internet companies sent a joint letter to the FCC earlier this week, showing their support of open Internet rules. Companies included Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Digg, LinkedIn, eBay, Skype, and many others.

On the other side of the fence, ISPs and telecoms have made their voices heard. Verizon is very against the proposed regulations from the FCC. According to CNET, Verizon’s CEO Ivan Seidenberg said imposing stricter regulations would pit network providers against application providers in a way that would ruin the Internet’s potential for economic growth and societal change.

It will be very interesting to see how the meeting turns out. We’ll know very soon.