Friday, September 3, 2010

The FCC seeking public comment on Open Internet Proceedings

Disclaimer: The NAACP has not declared an official position on Net Neutrality. The organization supports the broad principles of fairness and non-discrimination, but has not released an organizational position on the details of this very complex issue. So my clear, full-throated, and unambiguous support for Net Neutrality reflects my position and should not be seen as representative of the Association as a whole.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski statement on Open Internet Public Notice
“Over the past months we have worked to preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet, based on the conviction that an open Internet is vital to innovation and private investment, competition, and free speech.

“These efforts -- including the dedicated work of FCC staff and participation by a broad range of stakeholders -- have over time changed the terms of a longstanding and acrimonious debate. We have moved from a world of four disputed and unenforceable open Internet principles -- about blocking by broadband providers of lawful online content, applications, and services -- toward the acceptance of six enforceable rules: the original four principles plus the concepts of nondiscrimination and transparency. These would prevent broadband providers from wrongly playing favorites with lawful Internet speech or businesses, and would empower consumers and entrepreneurs with information about broadband choices and networks.

“We have made progress over the last year -- but of course we still have work to do. Today, we take the next step.

“Recent events have highlighted questions on how open Internet rules should apply to ‘specialized’ services and to mobile broadband -- what framework will guarantee Internet freedom and openness, and maximize private investment and innovation. As we’ve seen, the issues are complex, and the details matter. Even a proposal for enforceable rules can be flawed in its specifics and risk undermining the fundamental goal of preserving the open Internet.

“Accordingly, the FCC’s Wireline and Wireless Bureaus are seeking further public comment on issues related to ‘specialized’ (or ‘managed’) services and mobile broadband. The information received through this inquiry, along with the record developed to date, will help complete our efforts to establish an enforceable framework to preserve Internet freedom and openness.

“As we move forward, the FCC will continue to be vigilant in guarding against threats to Internet freedom. We will be focused on a vision of a ubiquitous and superfast Internet, with flourishing entrepreneurship and vibrant start-ups, and massive private investment in Internet infrastructure, content, and services -- an Internet that is an engine for our economy, and provides a world of knowledge and free speech accessible to all.”

If you are interested in filing a comment, you must do so on or before September 30th. When filing comments, please reference GN Docket No. 09-191 and WC Docket No. 07-52.

Comments may be filed using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies. Comments filed through the ECFS can be sent as an electronic file via the Internet to Generally, only one copy of an electronic submission must be filed. If multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of the proceeding, commenters must transmit one electronic copy of the comments to each docket or rulemaking number referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal screen, commenters should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking numbers. Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions for e-mail comments, commenters should send an e-mail to, and should include the following words in the body of the message, “get form.” A sample form and directions will be sent in reply. Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, commenters must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

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