FCC lays out Net neutrality framework: Transparency of network management eyed

FCC lays out Net neutrality framework: Transparency of network management eyed

Summary: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on Monday outlined a Net Neutrality framework to prevent Internet providers from discriminating against content and applications while requiring them to be transparent about their network management practices.


Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on Monday outlined a Net Neutrality framework to prevent Internet providers from discriminating against content and applications while requiring them to be transparent about their network management practices.

Those two items---non-discrimination and transparency---are new requirements Genachowski added to the FCC's four open Internet principles (Techmeme, FCC statement, Genachowski speech, OpenInternet.gov).

Add it up and there's a six-item Net neutrality framework the FCC is pushing. Genachowski said he will seek to codify these six principles through a notice at the FCC's October meeting. The FCC will ask for input and feedback and then proceed. One key item: How to determine whether network management practices are reasonable and what information broadband providers should disclose about their practices.

The Net neutrality principles now include:

  • Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.
  • Consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.
  • Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network.
  • Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.
  • Internet access providers can't discriminate against particular Internet content or applications, while allowing for reasonable network management.
  • Internet access providers must be transparent about the network management practices they implement.

In Genachowski's speech at the Brookings Institute, he aimed to counter what companies will note in their forthcoming commentaries.

Here's an excerpt and you should read the full speech.

The fundamental goal of what I’ve outlined today is preserving the openness and freedom of the Internet. We have an obligation to ensure that the Internet is an enduring engine for U.S. economic growth, and a foundation for democracy in the 21st century. We have an obligation to ensure that the Internet remains a vast landscape of innovation and opportunity.

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.

This is not about protecting the Internet against imaginary dangers. We’re seeing the breaks and cracks emerge, and they threaten to change the Internet’s fundamental architecture of openness. This would shrink opportunities for innovators, content creators, and small businesses around the country, and limit the full and free expression the Internet promises. This is about preserving and maintaining something profoundly successful and ensuring that it’s not distorted or undermined. If we wait too long to preserve a free and open Internet, it will be too late.

Some will seek to invoke innovation and investment as reasons not to adopt open Internet rules. But history’s lesson is clear: Ensuring a robust and open Internet is the best thing we can do to promote investment and innovation. And while there are some who see every policy decision as either pro-business or pro-consumer, I reject that approach; it’s not the right way to see technology’s role in America.

Topics: Browser, Government, Government US, Networking

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Thank Goodness

    If left to the ISPs and Computer Industry, within 5, years you would be paying outrageous fees for limited Internet access and bandwidth, and your ISP would dictate what applications you used, where you went and when you went there. Imagine if Apple, with its controlling, narrow mindedness, partnered with a major ISP to serve up only Apple approved content! Much like the iPhone and AT&T now, but on a much bigger scale - very scary.
    • Recent History does not bear that out.

      Since I first got "high speed" Internet back in the late 1990's I've seen my access speeds go from 512K up to 10 megabits and I'm paying about the same price for it (and and if I wanted to pay $5 a month more I could get 16 mbit). I've watched as the local cable TV and phone companies have continually upped the speeds to one up each other. I've seen attempts by ISP's to regulate the number of computers in your house (i.e. charge more for more than one) dissolve and now pretty much everyone I know has a router.

      Things have continually gotten better and better (of course with potholes in the road along the way).

      So why should we jump to the conclusion that our access is going to be limited? Sounds a bit paranoid to me.
      • Because ATT wants to charge content

        The reason we should be paranoid is because ATT wants to charge content providers for access to high speed internet instead of the usual charge to the consumer for band width. They want to create a gatekeeping system that puts small time content providers, who can't afford the kinds of fees that large entertainment companies will be able to cough up, on the slow track.

        The end result will be the internet version of top 40 radio - no one will waste their time on the slow route and much fewer voices will be heard.

        Consumers will pay regardless - for bandwidth or higher content fees. But small time content providers won't be heard at all.
      • 15 th. In the world

        We started the Internet. Now we are 15th. Behind countries like Sweden and South Korea. Most of the US broadband is only 3mb downstream. I think the you are listening to the broadband providers a little too much.


        • Is there any difference between those ahead of us and us?

          Is it possible that there are various reasons as to why there are a bunch of countries ahead of us in the broadband race? I know there are reasons why it's a lot easier for some countries, such as Korea and Japan and others, which makes it a lot easier for their populations to surpass us in the percentage of those who do have high-speed internet access. And yeah, they can also get the broadband much cheaper than us.

          I wonder if you can figure out what some of those reasons are?
  • "while allowing for reasonable....

    network management". ISP's will use this one clause to continue their monopolistic practices of allowing only what and how much traffic is allowed across their networks. I can guarantee that the term "reasonable" will mean something totally different to ISP's than the rest of us. Loopholes such as this virtually makes the rest of the "framework" totally useless. This is like having a gun loaded with blanks. Totally useless.
    • re: "while allowing for reasonable....

      Disagree. For obvious reasons I won't go into, it's far better to have a reg that leaves "reasonable" ambiguous than to have the FCC spell out what network management technologies are allowed.

      none none
      • powerplay

        You're not thinking like a politician obviously. They're looking at the 10 and 20 year plan. It is ambiguous laws like these that lay the foundwork for them to intrude later. It politics 101 to make you think they're doing it for the little guy. This is nothing more than the initial probe to see if the public will scare itself into allowing this to pass.
        • powerplay nailed it

          I am not 100% up to speed on this net neutrality topic (like many Americans, I'm guessing)

          But I do agree 100% with powerplay's comment above. When politicians put ambiguous language into law it's facilitates their ability to slip the law through now by ridiculing critics with comments like "Stop acting paranoid, your concern is not even IN the law, show me where it says we will do THAT..."

          But once it's codified and no one is paying attention, they do whatever the heck they want using the ambiguous terms as their authority. By the time we notice what they're doing -- it's way too late.

          I would add -- when considering laws, don't just think about who is in power today and whether or not you like/trust them. Keep in mind that we have no idea who will be in power 5, 10, 20 years down the road and what they may do with this "authority."

          Be afraid. Be very afraid.
        • A bit more elaboration on my ealier post....

          at this link:


          I call it preemptive regulation, in preparation for eventually regulating much more to the point that the government "owns" the internet and decides how you and business can use "the government's" internet, just like they've attempted to control what you hear over the airwaves.
  • RE: FCC lays out Net neutrality framework: Transparency of network management eyed

    The reason that some are challenging the internet company's is that they are trying to cap the ones who are doing thing like watching TV on the internet and dropping there cable.
    This way one does not have to buy channels like the golf channel to get SYFY. Some of the company's I have bought cable from while moving around in the Army have even set letters saying that I was being targeted for capping as we where getting our movies over the internet.
    I myself think that they ought to separate the cable company part from the TV part. Our cable TV bill has gone up and up here over the last few months. We have been asked and had to pay more for the internet access also. As that has come around quite a few of us have dropped the TV part in full or part.
    As this happens we see that they are working for more control over what and how we use the internet.
    I think this will be a good thing that is being done now by the FCC.
    And I must state that some of the Cable company's that I have used have been very good to work with and have worked very hard to see that I was well pleased with my service. And I was.
    But there are a few who are not that way and there is not much one can do as they have a monopoly over the area that they are in and you have no recourse .
  • It's not about government regulation, and yet they're regulating...

    <i>This is not about government regulation of the Internet.</i>
    So, with the double-speak, the government says that this is not about government regulations while creating the regulations. How dumb do they think the American people are? These people pretend to be helping the little guy while regulating the little guys and the big guys at the same time.
    Regulations, when they're needed, are good things. Up to now, the internet has done very well without much in government regulations. So, why do it now. The government, with what they just announced, is regulating preemptively. Why would a government need to do that unless it's just another power grab in the making? Sure, it starts out "innocently" but, big government always finds a way to get more intrusive once they perceive violations of some regulations. People may not be able to perceive the "slippery slope" at the moment, but sometimes, the slippery slope is hidden.

  • RE: FCC lays out Net neutrality framework: Transparency of network management eyed

    hmm, somewhat skeptical what their 'true' intentions are but I guess it's a bit early to tell. I'l wait until all the right questions can be asked and this thing is disceted.

    On another note I LOVE IT! If im paying for the internet don't tell me what I can\can't do with it..including the downloading of torrents...
    18th Letter
  • RE: FCC lays out Net neutrality framework: Transparency of network management eyed

    I have two services, cable and mobile air card. Verizon being the latter. With Verizon over two years and just out of contract. The past two years I had unlimited broadband and national access, they said, but it is not so. I read the contract it said 5g's max. Only using the service for email;some browsing; files; and a like. No streaming of anything,no cam nothing. It makes no sense to me ( text is extra ).

    I called them on many occasions I received different answer's that I can stream video's, and other's said no etc. How can one have unlimited use when they cap it a 5g's? I remembered the word unlimited meant no end, infinity.

    What I think of Gov's involvement, we need help urgently! I don't like Government control, air belongs to us, and if we are paying for internet service, not to limited on how we use it, how much we use.

    Company s are selling net books like hot cakes including broadband for a monthly fee of about $30. and 1g's cap. What do kid's think they can do with that? Just daily updates from virus programs, Microsoft and alike would consume it. I checked what you get what was added was some music download streaming, Ha! what is some? Again no seance to the literature. I questioned it I was told it was a misprint, they are not responsible for errors. We need to get things done with MR BIG, Clean up there act so consumers and business get a fair deal, fair price with no hiding cost because of limitations imposed by MR BIG.
  • RE: FCC lays out Net neutrality framework: Transparency of network management eyed

    "...subject to the needs of law enforcement."

    "...while allowing for reasonable network management."

    Weasel words all. As always, the devil is in the details. Who interprets what law enforcement [i]needs[/i] are legitimate and not an intrusive distortion of our constitutional rights. Who decides what the definition of "reasonable" is?
    Drop your socks and grab your jocks folks. The squirrels are after your nuts again.
  • RE: FCC lays out Net neutrality framework: Transparency of network management eyed

    Hi there also there, Only concluded simply to drop by the page [url=http://www.cheap-jerseys-eshop.com/]san diego chargers jerseys[/url] website page together with looked into It's safe to [url=http://www.cheap-jerseys-eshop.com/]charger jerseys[/url] would say most many thanks [url=http://www.cheap-jerseys-eshop.com/]chargers jerseys[/url] for enduring my vision.