Net Neutrality Rules On FCC Meeting Agenda


The Federal Communications Commission has made it official, at least tentatively so. As advertised, the chairman's proposal to codify and expand the FCC's network openness principles has been scheduled for its Oct. 22 public meeting.

The chairman two weeks ago signaled in a Brookings Institution speech that he thought there needed to be clearer rules of the road as the FCC draws up a map for Congress to universal broadband deployment. He also wants to apply them to wireless broadband providers, since he is on record saying wireless could be a big player in the future of broadband delivery.

In his speech, Genachowski said the move was necessary because there had already been evidence of "deviations" from historic openness, because there were incentives for that discrimination inherent in rational-bottom line competition between players, and because there was not enough of that competition in Internet service.

His two Democratic colleagues are on board, and the president has given his personal, public endorsement to network neutrality regulations, so it is likely to happen, though not until the FCC has vetted the proposal in public hearings and online. That will likely push any action until early next year at the earliest.

An official agenda won't be released until a week before the meeting, and even after that items can be pulled up until the start of the proceedings.