FCC Could Vote Oct. 22 On Net Neutrality Rules

Monday FCC chairman Julius Genachowski proposed rules to prohibit Internet service providers and telecommunications companies from blocking or limiting network traffic. While ISPs say such actions are necessary to keep bandwidth-hogging applications from slowing Internet traffic, consumer advocacy groups say ISPs and telcos sometimes block Web traffic they consider competitive.

The FCC has scheduled a meeting for Oct. 22 in Washington D.C. to debate the issue and possibly vote on the proposed regulations.

Genachowski wants the FCC to approve regulations that would prevent ISPs from discriminating against particular Internet content or applications, while allowing for reasonable network management, and ensure that ISPs are transparent about their network management practices.

"Broadband providers cannot discriminate against particular Internet content or applications," Genachowski said in a speech on Net Neutrality, presented Monday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Sponsored post

"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."

ISPs and telecommunications providers have said such regulations could hinder Internet-related innovation. AT&T issued a statement the day of Genachowski's speech warning against applying the proposed rules against wireless service providers.