Thursday, January 14, 2010
There's a lot of awesome stuff on the Internet: Cats talking LOLspeak. Iranian dissidents tweeting. Live traffic updates. Science experiments.
All of these things, and so much more, are possible because of the openness of the Internet. Any entrepreneur with an idea has always been able to create a website and share their ideas globally – without paying extra tolls to have their content seen by other users. An open Internet made Google possible eleven years ago, and it's going to make the next Google possible.
In our comments filed today in the FCC's proposed rulemaking docket, we explained that our goal is straightforward: "to keep the Internet awesome for everybody."
The Internet was designed to empower users. Its open, "end-to-end" architecture means that users – not network providers or anyone else – decide what succeeds or fails online. It's a formula that has worked incredibly well, resulting in mind blowing innovation, incredible investment, and more consumer choice than ever.
For the online world's first three decades, a set of FCC regulations protected the openness of the communications on-ramps. Unfortunately, those safeguards were stripped away back in 2005, which since then has led to confusion, uncertainty, and, in some cases, bad acts.
That's why we've argued that the FCC should re-adopt rules to prevent network providers from discriminating against certain services, applications, or viewpoints on the Web, and requiring them to be transparent about how they manage their networks.
More specifically, in our FCC filing, we support:
- Adding a nondiscrimination principle that bans prioritizing Internet traffic based on the ownership (the who), the source (the what) of the content or application;
- Adding a transparency principle that ensures all users have clear information about broadband providers' offerings;
- Providing a carefully-defined "reasonable network management" exception so that broadband providers are empowered to address genuine congestion issues and protect against hazards like malware and spamming;
- Applying general openness protections to both wireline and wireless broadband infrastructure; and
- Creating better enforcement mechanisms at the FCC, and introducing the concept of technical advisory groups (TAGs) to potentially provide expert advice and resolve disputes.