The FCC today proposed new rules to protect and preserve “net neutrality,” the idea that ISPs must treat all users the same and not prejudice against different types of customers. In a speech, Chairman Julius Genachowski supported adopting the “Four Freedoms” first articulated by the FCC in 2004 (PDF) not just as principles but as formal rules, and adding two more: “non-discrimination” and “transparency.” The big networks are, naturally, incensed.
More specifically, the new principles are:
5) Non-discrimination — broadband providers cannot discriminate against particular Internet content or applications.
6) Transparency — providers of broadband Internet access must be transparent about their network management practices.
And to recap, The “Four Freedoms” are:
1) Freedom to Access Content: Consumers should have access to their choice of legal content
2) Freedom to Use Applications: Consumers should be able to run applications of their choice
3) Freedom to Attach Personal Devices: Consumers should be permitted to attach any devices they choose to the connection in their homes
4) Freedom to Obtain Service Plan Information: Consumers should receive meaningful information regarding their service plans.”
With the fifth principle, it’s like they’re staring directly at Comcast.
“Preserving a Free and Open Internet: A Platform for Innovation, Opportunity, and Prosperity” Prepared Remarks of
Chairman Julius Genachowski The Brookings Institution, Washington DC September 21, 2009 [FCC]