FCC Takes Stand For Net Neutrality

FCC Chair Julius Genachowski is delivering a speech this morning that takes a strong stand for a free and open Internet (the U.S. regulator has also launched as a site to debate the issue). A transcript of the prepared remarks indicates that the FCC Chair wants to formally establish six principles as Commission rules related to net neutrality.  The FCC is focusing on non-discrimination and tranparency as well as making it clear that the rules should apply across platforms – broadband, mobile, and satellite.  Key quotes:

Network operators cannot prevent users from accessing the lawful Internet content, applications, and services of their choice, nor can they prohibit users from attaching non-harmful devices to the network.

Non-discrimination – stating that broadband providers cannot discriminate against particular Internet content or applications. This means they cannot block or degrade lawful traffic over their networks, or pick winners by favoring some content or applications over others in the connection to subscribers’ homes. Nor can they disfavor an Internet service just because it competes with a similar service offered by that broadband provider. The Internet must continue to allow users to decide what content and applications succeed.

Transparency principle – stating that providers of broadband Internet access must be transparent about their network management practices. 

We cannot afford to rely on happenstance for consumers, businesses, and policymakers to learn about changes to the basic functioning of the Internet. Greater transparency will give consumers the confidence of knowing that they’re getting the service they’ve paid for, enable innovators to make their offerings work effectively over the Internet, and allow policymakers to ensure that broadband providers are preserving the Internet as a level playing field. It will also help facilitate discussion among all the participants in the Internet ecosystem, which can reduce the need for government involvement in network management disagreements.

In considering the openness of the Internet, it is also important to recognize that our choice of technologies and devices for accessing the Internet continues to expand at a dizzying pace. New mobile and satellite broadband networks are getting faster every day, and extraordinary devices like smartphones and wireless data cards are making it easier to stay connected while on the go. And I note the beginnings of a trend towards openness among several participants in the mobile marketplace.

Even though each form of Internet access has unique technical characteristics, they are all are different roads to the same place. It is essential that the Internet itself remain open, however users reach it. The principles I’ve been speaking about apply to the Internet however accessed, and I will ask my fellow Commissioners to join me in confirming this.

This is not about government regulation of the Internet. It’s about fair rules of the road for companies that control access to the Internet. We will do as much as we need to do, and no more, to ensure that the Internet remains an unfettered platform for competition, creativity, and entrepreneurial activity.

The FCC proposal is consistent with the proposals put forward before the CRTC this past summer at the network management hearing.  The big question for Canadians is whether the CRTC will follow the U.S. model or leave the issue to the government to address.


  1. “The big question for Canadians is whether the CRTC will follow the U.S. model or leave the issue to the government to address.”

    They’ll let us know as soon as they ask Bell what they think they should do.

  2. reality
    The CRTC will leave it for the government politicians to address. The same politicians whose financial backers are in the same bed as the telco’s.

    Even if the CRTC addresses it, the telco-politico financial backers will force the issue on cabinet to decide upon (which they can do to overrule the CRTC).

    Either way, the CRTC doesn’t give a damn about the Canadian person paying for this junk.

    Besides, Bell, Rogers and videotron like their monopoly status in the sectors they are in. Do you honestly think these multi-billion dollar companies will just say, ok, whatever the CRTC says. They spent how much now to fight and keep their discriminatory practices and services running as they want it run?

    Give up your dream of an open internet. There won’t be one in Canada till a new player(s) comes along and is open (and fight the monopolies to even be able to operate). Till then, forget it.

    ….and this won’t happen in our life time or your kids life time.

  3. The CRTC version…
    …will be likely so watered down with clauses that it may as well not even exist, is my guess.

  4. what
    lol lol lol nub sauce gg 4 u !!!

  5. cool beans

  6. gg4u is a noob says:

    your a noob

  7. CRTC is working for monopolies says:

    Time for a change
    And the CRTC is still in bed with Bell, Rogers and other monopolies. They rubber-stamped so many initiatives by these monopolists, like application throttling, double-dipping…

    Time for a change.