HOME     MENU     SEARCH     NEWSLETTER    
NEWS & INFORMATION FOR TECHNOLOGY PURCHASERS. UPDATED 9 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / World Wide Web / FCC Chief Maps Net Neutrality Steps
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost Enterprise Cloud Computing
On Force.com
FCC Chairman Proposes New Net Neutrality Steps
FCC Chairman Proposes New Net Neutrality Steps
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
FEBRUARY
19
2014



The head of the Federal Communications Commission has now given some indication of how he proposes that his agency proceed on Net neutrality. In a statement, Chairman Tom Wheeler has outlined three steps forward, while keeping reclassification on the table as a possible option.

The statement made clear that Wheeler does not want to appeal last month's federal court ruling in Verizon v. FCC. Some legal observers have noted that, while the agency's Open Internet policy was overturned, the court decision made clear that the FCC has broad authority under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to preserve an open Internet -- a significant victory for the agency.

The FCC's Open Internet Order, adopted in 2010, prevents Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking services or providing varying degrees of network access for different content providers.

No Blocking, Section 706

One of Wheeler's proposed steps calls for the enhancement and enforcement of the transparency rule so that ISPs would be required to make public how they manage their networks.

A second step: developing a way to maintain the "no blocking" policy that allows the FCC to prohibit an ISP from blocking any provider. Wheeler noted that the federal court order "recognized the importance" of its ban on the blocking of Internet traffic, but it ruled the FCC "had not provided sufficient legal rationale for its existence."

In light of that, he said, the agency can take steps that comply with the court's order but ensures that "edge providers are not unfairly blocked, explicitly or implicitly, from reaching consumers, as well as ensuring that consumers can continue to access any lawful content or services they choose." Edge providers are those who provide goods and services over the Net, and the steps to be taken were not specified.

The third proposed step, Wheeler said, is for his agency to consider how it can use Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to "fulfill the goals of the non-discrimination rule."

Title II on the Table

That section says that ISPs cannot manage their networks by discriminating against certain applications, like Netflix's streaming video service. For guidance, the agency will look to previous court cases where courts have ruled in favor of the FCC's governing authority, such as those relating to reasonable data roaming rates.

Wheeler's statement also includes another component that is a fallback. He said he intends for the FCC to "keep Title II authority on the table."

That section of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 gives the agency the authority to reclassify Internet access as a telecommunications service, instead of its previous classification by the agency as an information service. If ISPs are telecommunications services, the court has agreed the FCC can then declare them to be common carriers, which would mean they must carry all traffic without playing favorites.

Wheeler had been expected to propose steps that fall short of reclassification, but it had not been clear if he would rule it out.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY INTEREST YOU
ISACA® offers a global community of more than 115,000 IS/IT constituents in over 180 countries. We develop and deliver industry-leading certifications, education, research and business frameworks. We equip individuals to be leaders in the fast-changing world of information systems and IT - Learn More>
MORE IN WORLD WIDE WEB
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

NETWORK SECURITY SPOTLIGHT
Sony is no stranger to breaches. Sony’s PlayStation Network was hacked in 2011 and attackers obtained 77 million user accounts. The latest attack comes against Sony Pictures Entertainment.

ENTERPRISE HARDWARE SPOTLIGHT
Doctor Who had K-9, the robot dog that accompanied him on adventures through space. Now, Mountain View has K5, a 5-foot-tall, 300-pound robot security guard patrolling in the Bay Area.

MOBILE TECHNOLOGY SPOTLIGHT
Beleaguered handset maker BlackBerry is targeting iPhone users with an offer the company hopes they can’t refuse -- $550 to leave Apple and switch to the new BlackBerry Passport.

© Copyright 2014 NewsFactor Network, Inc. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.