The FCC will vote on “basic” net neutrality rules at its Dec. 21 open meeting after months of lobbying from opponents and advocates of the regulations, agency Chairman Julius Genachowski announced today.
The proposed rules would mandate that consumers have access to basic information about their broadband service, including information about network management practices, and prohibit the blocking of lawful applications, services and the connection of lawful devices to a network.
The rules give service providers the “flexibility to reasonably manage their networks” but put a bar on what Genachowski termed at a press conference as “unreasonable discrimination in transmitting lawful network traffic.”
“There are real risks to the Internet’s continued freedom and openness,” Genachowski said during his speech.
The rules would not reclassify broadband Internet services under Title II of the Communications Act. Genachowski maintained that the proposed regulations had a sound legal foundation without reclassification.
It remains unclear what implications the proposed rules have for wireless operators. Genachowski said the agency’s net neutrality rules would take into account the differences between mobile and fixed broadband Internet providers, but additional details were scarce. Genachowski said the agency would continue to monitor the mobile broadband market for anticompetitive practices and did not rule out further regulations for wireless operators.
The agency will also vote on ways to transition the current, voice-only 911 system to a broadband-capable, next-generation 911 system.
Filed Under: Industry regulations