An Open, Transparent, and Competitive Internet for All Americans

Posted on by Karina

This morning, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced he will propose new rules during a speech at the Brookings Institution, to preserve an open internet and ensure net neutrality. Blogging on, Chairman Genachowski explains:

The rise of serious challenges to the traditional operation of the Internet puts us at a crossroads. We could see technology used to shut doors to entrepreneurs instead of opening them. The spirit of innovation stifled. A full and free flow of information compromised.

Or we could take steps to preserve a free and open Internet, helping to ensure a future of opportunity, prosperity, and the vibrant flow of information and ideas.

I believe we must choose to safeguard the openness that has made the Internet a stunning success. That is why today, I delivered a speech announcing that the FCC will be the smart cop on the beat when it comes to preserving a free and open Internet.

In particular, I proposed that the FCC adopt two new rules to help achieve this.

The first says broadband providers cannot discriminate against particular Internet content or applications. The second says broadband providers must be transparent about their network management practices. These principles would apply to the Internet however it is accessed, though how they apply may differ depending on the access platform or technology used. Of course, network operators will be permitted to implement reasonable network management practices to address issues such as spam, address copyright infringement, and otherwise ensure a safe and secure network for all users.

I also proposed that the FCC formally enshrine the four pre-existing agency policies that say 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.

Speaker Pelosi on today’s announcement:

I applaud Chairman Genachowski and the FCC for undertaking a rulemaking process to preserve openness and competition on the internet. By embracing principles of nondiscrimination and transparency, this proceeding will ensure that the internet continues to be an engine of innovation, job creation and free speech for all Americans.

With health IT and smart grid technologies, we have seen the profound role that the internet can play in addressing national issues such as health care and climate change. The more the internet encourages investment, innovation, and consumer choice, the more effective it will be in helping to tackle these and other challenges. I look forward to working with the FCC to preserve and promote an open, transparent, and competitive internet for all Americans.

Watch Chairman Genachowski discuss the importance of an open internet and the launch of a new website,, to continue the discussion and solicit input as the FCC moves forward:

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