By Matt Wood, Associate Director, Media Access Project
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski delivered in a big way this morning on one of the key technology and telecommunications policy promises from the Obama campaign. Genachowski announced, in a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., that his agency would "take steps to preserve Internet openness, helping ensure a future of opportunity, innovation, and a vibrant marketplace of ideas." (President Obama publicized today's move too, taking time during his speech in Troy, NY, on innovation and sustainable growth to promote the FCC announcement.)
Studiously avoiding use of the hot-button term "net neutrality," Genachowski proposed formalizing the FCC's role as "a smart cop on the beat preserving a free and open Internet." He announced that the agency would open a rulemaking process to consider formal adoption of the Commission's existing four Internet principles - guidelines adopted in 2005 on the watch of Republican FCC Chairman Michael Powell - as well as new principles requiring non-discrimination and transparency by wireline and wireless broadband providers.