FCC to Address Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission will establish rules to protect ‘Open Internet.'

by / February 19, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission has opened a new docket to solicit public opinion on net neutrality and guide it in establishing rules to protect a free and open Internet.

According to a statement issued by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the Commission intends to propose rules to ensure transparency in how Internet Service Providers manage net traffic and enhance competition.

“Preserving the Internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace is an important responsibility of this agency,” Wheeler said in a prepared statement.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down federal rules that had barred broadband providers from favoring some sites and slowing down or blocking others. The Jan. 14 ruling enabled providers to potentially censor content they object to or favor companies that may pay providers more to feature their content.

In the ruling, however, the court affirmed that the FCC has the legal authority to issue enforceable rules to preserve Internet freedom and openness. So instead of appealing the court’s ruling, the Commission is taking up the challenge of drafting net neutrality rules that will survive judicial scrutiny.