Final FCC 2010 session is on network neutrality


FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that the agency’s December open meeting would include his proposal on maintaining a free and open internet, and that item is indeed on the sunshine notice concerning the 12/21/10 session.

Genachowski had originally floated a plan which made limited use of Title II powers designed to arm the FCC to police the medium and make sure it is being run without discrimination. He has instead created a proposal that stays within the boundaries of Title I. His approach has managed to leave proponents of strong network neutrality oversight cold to the point that many are saying no regulation would be better than that which is being put on the table. At the same time, observers on the other side still thing Genachowski’s approach is unnecessarily heavy-handed.

Some, notably Senate Communications Subcommittee Chair John Kerry (D-MA) have called the plan less than ideal but a reasonable compromise.

The FCC description of the agenda item is short and sweet: Entitled “Preserving the Open Internet (GN Docket No. 09-191); Broadband Industry Practices (WC Docket No. 07-52),” the plank states, “The Commission will consider a Report and Order adopting basic rules of the road to preserve the open Internet as a platform for innovation, investment, competition, and free expression.”

The Tuesday 12/21/10 meeting kicks off at 10:30 AM. The commissioners will also consider one other agenda item, entitled “Framework for Next Generation 911 Deployment.”

RBR-TVBR observation: It was expected that the FCC agenda for the year would be short on broadcast and long on broadband, and that has indeed been the case. When broadcasters were mentioned in an open meeting this year, it was usually because somebody wanted broadcast spectrum to repurpose for wireless broadband service.

There was supposed to be a proceeding on the latest quadrennial review of broadcast ownership policy and regulation, but it has been shoved into 2011. Remember what a circus it was last time?