Last month, FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, proposed an outline of explicit rules that will soon protect consumer access to an open Internet. What is considered as “network neutrality,” the rules will prevent broadband-based Internet providers such as AT&T and Comcast for example, from discriminating against certain types of services, applications, or online views. They will also require providers to have have public access to the companies manage-mental practices.
This morning, 24 major companies and social media sites, such as Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Google & Sony, and which are all part of the Open Internet Coalition, sent a letter to the FCC, backing the support of an open Internet.
Dear Chairman Genachowski:
We write to express our support for your announcement that the Federal Communications Commission will begin a process to adopt rules that preserve an open Internet. We believe a process that results in common sense baseline rules is critical to ensuring that the Internet remains a key engine of economic growth, innovation, and global competitiveness.
For most of the Internet’s history, FCC rules have ensured that consumers have been able to choose the content and services they want over their Internet connections. Entrepreneurs, technologists, and venture capitalists have previously been able to develop new online products and services with the guarantee of neutral, nondiscriminatory access by users, which has fueled an unprecedented era of economic growth and creativity. Existing businesses have been able to leverage the power of the Internet to develop innovative product lines, reach new consumers, and create new ways of doing business.
An open Internet fuels a competitive and efficient marketplace, where consumers make the ultimate choices about which products succeed and which fail. This allows businesses of all sizes, from the smallest startup to larger corporations, to compete, yielding maximum economic growth and opportunity.
America’s leadership in the technology space has been due, in large part, to the open Internet. We applaud your leadership in initiating a process to develop rules to ensure that the qualities that have made the Internet so successful are protected.
The web, which up until now, was built as an open platform, meaning that new services and content providers haven’t needed to seek permission to post anything online. According to Google, “This ‘innovation without permission’ effect has allowed countless individuals and companies to offer new applications to the world, businesses large and small to open shop online, and anyone with an Internet connection to share their opinions freely in the marketplace of ideas. It’s not until recently, in the wake of dogmatic deregulation, that this open environment has come under threat.”
The FCC has also created a new website, OpenInternet.gov, which ideally will be a place to join the discussions about the important issues facing the future of the Internet.’ The website is also opening the site to the public in hopes of getting the thoughts and ideas of the public involved as well, to keep the Internet a place where everyone is in charge and have an equal voice. The FCC will announce it’s first set of basic rule this Thursday in hopes to have the Internet be a place for innovation, economic growth, and free expression.