net neutrality

Thoughts On Today’s FCC Net Neutrality Ruling

[From Sally Shipman Wentworth , Internet Society VP of Public Policy]

Today the eyes of many people around the world have been focused on Washington, DC, as (http://www.fcc.gov/events/open-commission-meeting-february-2015) the U.S. Federal Communications Committee (FCC) held an Open Meeting where they voted on a Report and Order around  “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet”.  More commonly known as  the ruling on “Network Neutrality”, the vote today represents what is a potentially major shift in the longstanding policy of the United States with regard to regulation of Internet services.

The Internet Society has always supported the fundamental values of a global, open Internet grounded in transparency, access and choice. We believe that openness should be the guiding principle that continues to enable the success and growth of the Internet. The goals of the U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Open Internet Order – providing U.S. consumers with meaningful transparency, addressing concerns over blocking and discrimination, clarifying the role of reasonable network management, and enabling the permissionless innovation that has led to the success of the Internet today – are all really important.

However, if we look at this in light of a range of proposals around the world that aim to apply policies designed for telecommunications networks and services to the Internet, we consider it possible that such an approach could result in the opposite consequences.  We realize that there are unique legislative and procedural challenges in the U.S., but we are concerned with the FCC’s decision to base new rules for the modern Internet on decades-old telephone regulations designed for a very different technological era.

Regulatory approaches that could affect the sustainability of the global, open Internet need to take into account the technical reality of how networks are operated and managed. Allowing the necessary technological flexibility to keep pace with rapid innovation is integral to ensuring the continued growth and success of the Internet. We believe we need to be careful that this flexibility is not undermined by the use of a regulatory framework designed to govern the old telecommunications system.

The explosive innovation that has occurred over the last two decades has allowed for communities across the world to participate in and benefit from connectivity, both socially and economically. Promoting Internet access and availability is integral to the success of our digital future, and global public policies should continue to be guided by (http://www.internetsociety.org/internet-invariants-what-really-matters) the fundamentals that have contributed to the Internet’s growth.  We believe a regulatory paradigm ill-suited for the current and future Internet ecosystem could have severe implications on this continued success.

As a global organization, we recognize that the FCC’s decision today applies only to the United States, but we also realize that other nations may look to the FCC’s ruling as a model for their own regulations. For that reason it’s critical to us that regulations of this nature be compatible with the principles that have led to the innovation and opportunity that are the hallmarks of today’s global Internet.

We know that these are complex issues and that working to maintain the benefits of an open Internet presents us all with an ongoing challenge. We look forward to reviewing the full text of the FCC’s Order once it’s released.

 

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Internet Society Statement on Network Neutrality Ruling in the United States

Internet_Society The Internet Society released the following statement from Bob Hinden, Chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees:
“Today, the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals in the United States issued a major decision with regards to the Federal Communication Commission’s Open Internet rules.

The Internet Society has consistently argued that the core principles of transparency, freedom of choice, and unimpeded access to content and applications should be at the heart of any policy action with respect to network neutrality.

Notwithstanding the Court’s ruling today, these principles that have allowed the Internet to grow, scale, and connect people and ideas around the world remain valid. Anything less would jeopardize the continued success and availability of the Internet as a tool for open communication and economic growth.

The Internet Society urges parties in the United States to keep a sharp focus on the need to create an environment that allows users to remain in control of their Internet experience, thus empowering them to participate in the open Internet.”
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Internet Society lends initial support to Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG)

The Internet Society’s North American Bureau, to which ISOC-NY is affiliated, is lending initial support to a U.S. industry effort to form a Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG) to develop consensus on broadband network management practices or other related technical issues that can affect users’ Internet experience. This is a collaborative industry effort to identify and address operational issues that have been at the heart of some of the recent issues attracting governmental attention. Constructively, this activity could result in organized, forward-looking discussion driven by key stakeholders and also provide opportunities to educate and inform policy makers by shedding light on underlying technical issues from the perspectives of diverse stakeholders.

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Internet Society Publishes Statement on Open Inter-networking

GENEVA–26 February 2010–The Internet Society this week submitted a paper on “Open Inter-networking” to a Net Neutrality expert group convened by French Minister of Internet Economy, Nathalie Kosciusko MorizetI. The paper proposes a set of policy considerations derived from the need to preserve access, choice, and transparency as key to ensuring the Internet remains a platform for innovation and economic development.

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ISOC-NY Poll – Do you support Net Neutrality?

There have been two recent NYC events that have pitched supporters and opponents of Net Neutrality against each other – the TechDebate and the NYC Council Public Hearing. The FCC has mooted its six principles of net neutrality And Rep. Ed Markey has introduced the new bill H.R. 3458 aka the ‘Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009′ in Congress. For their part, Republicans have come up with two opposing bills. As noted in the Council hearing the Internet Society’s stance on this matter is somewhat neutral, suggesting that regulators concentrate on optimizing user choice.

Where do you stand? Please click the link below to vote!

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Internet Bandwidth Growth: Dealing with Reality

ISOC logo On Nov. 10 2009, in Hiroshima Japan during IETF76, the Internet Society (ISOC) convened a panel of experts to discuss the current explosion in bandwidth usage. Topics included metrics, net neutrality, and management methods.

More info | audio | transcript
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Net Neutrality Tech Debate – Tuesday 11/17

tech debateOn Nov. 17 2009, in advance of the NYC  Council hearing on the same topic, and in conjunction with Web 2.0 Expo, an ‘Oxford Style’ debate was held on advisability of Network Neutrality regulation.

More info: http://tech-debate.com.

Video is below.

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NYC Council holds Net Neutrality Hearing – 11/20/2009

NYC In Feb. 2007 members of the NYC Council Committee on Technology in Government Committee introduced Resolution 712, calling on the federal government to pass net neutrality legislation, an unlikely prospect at the time. Now, with fresh faces in Washington, the FCC has taken up the cause, establishing the six principles of net neutrality. A new bill H.R. 3458 aka the ‘Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009’ was introduced in Congress, and is currently before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. For their part, Republicans have come up with two opposing bills.

The NYC Resolution has, in recognition of this, been appropriately amended as Res. No. 712-A, and a hearing was scheduled for November 20 at City Hall.  The FCC has made a request for public comment on this matter and the Committee on Technology in Government will draw from the hearing’s testimonies to draft a letter that includes citywide input.

  • Capture of the live video webcast is below.
  • Alternative video on punkcast.com
  • Twitter feed http://www.twitter.com/nycctechcomm| tag #reso712A.
  • Written Testimony
  • Full transcript
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  • S. Derek Turner – The History (and Future) of Internet Policy

    Derek TurnerAt the recent Free Press Summit” in Washington DC, FP Research Director S. Derek Turner addressed the topic of Internet Policy. His theme, detailed in his report Dismantling Digital Deregulation: Toward a National Broadband Strategy, was that the deregulatory policies in the 1976 Telecom Act, intended to increase competition, have been so abused by the incumbents as to have had the opposite effect. He argues that the public interest can only be served by a corresponding tilt back into regulation. Transcript | Audio. | Video is below.

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    FCC chief says Comcast violated Internet rules

    An AP article reports that Kevin Martin, head of the Federal Communications Commission, will recommend that Comcast be punished for violating agency principles that guarantee customers open access to the Internet.

    Martin will circulate an order recommending enforcement action against the company on Friday among his fellow commissioners, who will vote on the measure at an open meeting on Aug. 1.

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    Conyers introduces Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act

    John ConyersU.S. Rep. John Conyers, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, has introduced legislation that addresses Network Neutrality’s fair trade aspects by labeling it an antitrust matter. Conyers’ H.R. 5994 would ban discriminatory network management practices by amending the Clayton Act.

    The bill, labeled the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act, would require carriers to promote competition and allow people to use any device they want to on the carriers’ networks. The bill makes exceptions for emergencies, criminal investigations, parental controls, marketing, and improvements to quality of service. Continue reading

    House hearing on Net Neutrality today

    The United States House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet is today holding a hearing to discuss Network Neutrality legislation (HR 5353) introduced by subcommittee chairman Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA).

    Update: Archived video is available from CSPAN. (RealVideo) Continue reading

    Damian Kulash Net Neutrality Op-Ed in NY Times

    Damian KulashDamian Kulash of Chicago band OK Go appeared at the recent house hearing on network neutrality where he argued forcefully for protection of open access to content. Much of the band’s popularity derives from exposure on YouTube, where one homemade video has been accessed over 30 million times. Damian succinctly sums up his thoughts in an Op-Ed piece in today’s New York Times entitled ‘Beware the New New Thing‘. Continue reading