Supporters, Detractors Weigh In On FCC's Network Neutrality Principles


Author: John Eggerton

There wasn't anything neutral from the organizations expressing their opinions concerning the Federal Communications Commission's proposed codification and expansion of the four principles in its Internet policy statement.

The comments in the FCC's network neutrality proceeding flooded the commission from every side and angle this week (comments were due midnight Jan. 14). Free Press, which fully backs the FCC effort, said there were 13,000 commments from the public alone.

They ranged from requests for even more regulations than the FCC proposed to arguments that the commission has not yet demonstrated a need for any new regulations. Unions and content providers said the FCC had to explicitly protect legal content as it was creating/preserving all that Internet openness, while fair-use fans said that copyright protection "should not be part of network neutrality." Network neutrality proponents want a fairly narrow definition of acceptable network management. Comcast, fresh off a strong performance challenging the FCC's network management finding against it in Federal Court (the BitTorrent case), echoed its arguments there by telling the FCC late Thursday that it must compile evidence and establish statutory authority before it adopts any rules.

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