FCC Approves Net Neutrality Regulations

Oct 22 2009
By JOELLE TESSLER
AP Technology Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal regulators took an important step Thursday toward prohibiting broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against certain kinds of Internet traffic.
Despite the concerns of telecommunications companies and the agency’s two Republicans, the Federal Communications Commission voted to begin writing so-called “network neutrality” regulations. Proponents say the rules would prevent phone and cable companies from abusing their control over the market for broadband access.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said regulations are needed to ensure that broadband subscribers can access all legal Web sites and services, including Internet calling applications and video sites that compete with the broadband companies’ core businesses.

“Internet users should always have the final say about their online service, whether it’s the software, applications or services they choose, or the networks and hardware they use to the connect to the Internet,” Genachowski said.

The FCC’s two other Democrats voted to support his plan. The agency’s two Republican commissioners voted merely to start the formal rule-making process, but said they are opposed to the substance of Genachowski’s proposal.

Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell said he remains unconvinced that broadband providers are engaging in widespread anticompetitive behavior that requires government intervention.

“I do not share the majority’s view that the Internet is showing breaks and cracks, nor do I believe that the government is the best tool to fix it,” he said.

The rest of the article is here.

Comments are closed.