Originally published: December 15, 2009
Last updated: December 15, 2009 - 11:17pm
Speaking at the Federal Communications Commission's workshop on Speech, Democracy and the Open Internet, Commissioner Michael Copps again expressed support for building upon the FCC's Open Internet Principles, saying the Internet must never be about powerful gatekeepers and walled gardens. The genius of the Internet, he said, is "its openness, its dynamism, its availability to one and all." History teaches us that when a company has the technical capacity and a financial incentive to interfere, there will be some bad apples who will. Given what's at stake, we need hard and fast rules-not just idyllic principles and an honesty system arrangement to keep them from doing so. There are founded and unfounded fears in this debate-and we need to have all the facts while considering the future ramifications for this powerful tool. I don't believe that the importance of our Open Internet proceeding can be overstated-it is about safeguarding America's broadband users, whoever they are and however they choose to access the Internet, so that they may use the Internet to go freely to any legal content, so long as no harm is caused to the network.