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OpenInternet.gov/blog

October 14th, 2009 by Julius Genachowski - Chairman, Federal Communications Commission

Julius GenachowskiThe Internet’s open architecture has enabled this network of networks to become a unparalleled platform for innovation and speech, as well as an enduring engine for economic growth. Last month, I proposed that the FCC adopt a fair and high-level framework to preserve an open Internet.

While my goals are clear, the path to achieving them involves many hard questions about how best to maximize the innovation and investment necessary for a robust and thriving Internet. Getting input from all stakeholders will be important as the Commission begins to address many critical questions.  That is why we launched OpenInternet.gov.

We wanted to create a place where people could join the discussion about the open Internet. While OpenInternet.gov is still in Beta, we are encouraged that thousands of visitors have already used the site to watch my speech proposing open Internet principles and more than 500 people have offered comments.

Today, we are expanding the ways people can use OpenInternet.gov to participate in this discussion by launching the site’s blog. Visitors to this blog will be able to find expert commentary from FCC staff on how best to preserve the Internet’s openness and questions that arise during this debate. Our staff hopes to use this forum not only to share ideas but also to receive them. We encourage all visitors to weigh in with their own thoughts and engage in an open dialogue.

The blog will also offer timely information on the FCC’s latest activities to preserve an open Internet. On that front, we have an important announcement to make. Next Thursday, October 22, my fellow Commissioners and I will be hosting a meeting at the FCC’s headquarters to begin the process of establishing rules to preserve the Internet’s openness. These proceedings will be open to the public and streamed live on this site. Please check it out, and let us know what you think.

This blog is just the latest piece of an agency-wide effort to engage the public. We hope you will take advantage of it and keep coming back.

  1. Guest says:

    Here is my concern:
    Yahoo Buzz is a comments/blog forum which is overwhelmingly ultra-conservative, oftentimes NeoNazi or Radical Zionist. Examples include calling for the assassination of the President numerous times, calling for the annihilation of all Muslims and even Nazi-style hate speech directed at the First Lady and the \First Children\. Yesterday several people expressed that they hope the President is assassinated like MLK was. When I challenge these comments, or when a comment is made about Israel’s activities in Gaza, my comments are erased. I can see where other’s have seen the comment and replied to it, but ALL of my comments are routinely erased. This is especially galling when I am replying to Nazi Hate speech with challenging statements of my own. Only Yahoo Buzz staff can erase a comment after the fact and I feel this is quite malicious and controlling, making the site a haven for NeoNazis.

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  2. Michael Grissom and Family says:

    Open Letter to Tom Roddy Normandin:

    Over the years I have been a participant in owning my own business and being the proud husband of a professional wife, with two sons, both United States Marines. Tom, you may think that being a lawyer is fulfilling, however, your attempt to diminish my character in the forum of a deposition is not something you should be proud of.

    If the day comes when I can flippantly use serious mental health terms and disorders toward someone in order to discredit them like you did, I will retire from society. When a typical day for me is setting up a camera on someone and using the disguise of reputable law to discredit them, I hope I know when to quit.

    Tom, you have openly mocked me, called me names, however, when you attempt to bring shame to my family, this is where I take issue. I am proud to be a father of two Marines on active duty. Our family is held together with the love and respect we have for each other. We are not psychotic, nor do I beat my wife as you so easily tried to accuse me of.

    Mental health disorders are a serious issue for some, and should not be brought up as a label even in a deposition. As a licensed attorney you are no more allowed to diagnose mental health disorders as you are to perform open heart surgery.

    I expect your attacks, lies and fabrications of the truth when it comes to representing your clients. Personal attacks on me and my family reveal a quality about you and that is something you should not be proud of.

    Remember that time in law school when you felt like you would make a difference in someone’s life with the justice they deserve? Now fast forward to today, where you have anointed yourself protector of corporate criminals and use your talents to redefine the law for a paycheck. Money, is that what your driving force is? At what cost to the people you destroy?

    My family and I will continue to fight for justice. We want to make a difference, provide for our families, help our fellow man, protect our country, and provide care to the underserved in our community.

    We will stand up to those who try to pull others down to their level as well as the individuals who have aligned themselves, and represents in court, any Goliath willing to retain you.

    Judge Benjamin Cardozo said that “the final cause of law is the welfare of society”. Tom, you have failed as an attorney and your humanity is called into question.

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  3. Guest says:

    The internet is the infrastructure of our information based economy. It is as crucial to our future as the interstate highway system was in the 1950s. We very much need the FCC to set internet neutrality regulations that protect the long term interest of the consumers, entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses. The large commercial networks want to maximize profits, “cherry pick”, “nickel & dime”, build oligopolies and monopolies. We the people through our government powers need to set the rules. Through this vigilance we will have internet freedom, prosperity, and happiness. Even with these rules these businesses will THRIVE as SERVICE providers.

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  4. Harrison says:

    NAY!
    Start messing with our net freedom and “it will be the beginning of the end” for the web. Stay out of my computer, honestly, haven’t you anything better to do than, like say, save the planet or something.

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  5. MR.ORR says:

    WE {THE AMERICAN PEOPLE} BAILED OUT ALL THESE COMPANIES WITHOUT OUR APPROVAL!!! WE DO NOT GET HELP IF WE MISUSE OR ABUSE OUR FINANCES.MR PRESIDENT IF YOU REALY WANTED TO JUMPSTART THE ECONOMY YOU COULD GIVE THE HARD WORKING AND HONEST AMERICANS 2 MILLION DOLLARS EACH,LET THE AUTO CO.AND AIG GO BANKRUPED AND LET THEM LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES AND DISHONESTY……..WE PAY OUT IN SO MUCH TAXES NOW……GOOD THINGS ALWAYS COME FROM HARD LESSONS….THIS IS HOW I FEEL YOU ALWAYS SAID OUR VOICE MATTERS…. THANKS

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  6. Jean Naimard says:

    Big brother watching? Like having the router cut-off your packets because they come from their competition?

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  7. Jean Naimard says:

    Network Neutrality is as essential to the well-being of the Economy as the freedom to drive on roads. Network Neutrality means that, just like on roads, no one will question what you do, and hobble you if you do something against HIS interests.

    Only Network Neurality can guarantee that viable new ideas in the application of technology can see the light of day, without being squashed because they hinder current, obsolete or outdated business models.

    Net Neutrality goes in the way of increased freedom, and increased freedom can only be beneficial to societies.

    If someone is against Net Neutrality, he is against increased freedom and one should ask if he is beneficial to Society.

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  8. Guest says:

    Ah, the Internet. Birthed and built by our tax dollars. Further sustained by 200 billion that brought cheap 45Mb/s synchronous connections to the masses… oh wait. (Google: The $200 Billion Broadband Scandal)

    I don’t get it all the against jabber “Oh it’s the Government sticking it to businesses!” All they have to do is put servers/routers in a room, set them up to be open and let them go. They want to have the right to spend MORE money on monitoring equipment, people to manage it, and MORE complaints about poor products, choices and customer service. Seriously?

    The internet belongs to the people, not to Comcast or AT&T. It was designed, built, and flourished thanks to our tax dollars. How dare a bunch of rich fat cats suggest they be allowed to control how the people use it?

    If it is in their control, they can hurt small businesses that can’t afford to pay the “protection” money to make sure their business necessary e-mail gets in/out. That their website will be reachable, or, if they use VoIP, that their phone service will function well.

    Oh and to the Guest that said we have the broadest range of innovative services, devices and lowest prices: You’ve obviously never been to Asia. 1Gbps broadband for ~50 dollars in Japan. 100’s of Mbps in other countries for the same or less. I pay 99 for 22Mbps. Pretty brazen statement. Do you work for a provider? Sounds like marketing talk to me.

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    • Michael Ehlert says:

      Meant to put my name in my parent post. Oops.

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  9. Jason says:

    First, let me make the following confession: I am Canadian. Now you may be asking yourself, why am I posting here? It is because the lobbyists that have bought and paid our government will use this for public justification, if net neutrality is denied.

    The Internet is a wonderful thing. It allows people, regardless of how intelligent or idiotic their messages and ideas are, to have a voice. It is the democracy that yes, has its flaws – but has been a better platform and an embodiment to America’s values of freedom.

    There are those who will bring about certain downsides of this magnificent tool – specifically those who viewpoints stray beyond our comfort levels. But for every racially charged remark, or any harassment that is done, there is a far greater good done. And if you think that you can entrust individuals or an organizing body with complete reign with no accountability, or entrust corporations to cherish what we call freedom – then you are sorely mistaken. It will be a destruction that exceeds far beyond that of which is happening in Wall St. Money is indeed, eventually replaceable. But the loss of knowledge and the loss of an outlet for expression is not.

    Once we allow individuals to control what is displayed, and at what cost knowledge comes by, we will stifle innovation. We will stifle the creativity and community that is embodied in the very essence of the Internet. Indeed, from its humble roots, the Internet certainly has grown, to become the venue for a worldwide theatre. You have the power to keep it this way. I trust that you do.

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  10. thoughtcrime says:

    net neutrality means open access to what you want. Lack of neutrality means you get what your internet provider thinks is profitable. If you want to have others think for you and your choices limited by a marketing dept You are an idiot. Those who oppose net neutrality are toafies or fools.

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  11. Guest says:

    Right now when you go to the mall to buy stuff you go to a physical location that pays rent. The Internet is not currently like that at all. When you google you can go anywhere in the world. By allowing telecommunications companies to charge service providers for “better, faster traffic”, we are effectively introducing rent to a model that (right now) allows *anybody* equal footing as a company. Right now “Mom and Pop” style businesses on the Internet can effectively compete with larger, wealthier companies. This is a *good thing*. Any true Republican who is for small business ownership would *guarantee* that the Internet remain neutral. If a telecommunications company cannot afford to make faster more robust networks for the customers then I would hope that a competitor would come along to absorb that demand. Right now the telecommunications companies sound like a bunch of babies.

    - I was under the impression that major telecommunication companies already received subsidies to build a better broadband system years ago. What happened?
    - I would help states create programs for developing free wireless Internet in the cities. Putting a fire under the ***es of these companies might do some good.

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  12. Michael says:

    Network neutrality is essential to keep the internet a springboard for new and innovative products and services. It’s how the internet has grow to it’s current state.

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  13. Marvin Freeman says:

    If you want to download Coke ads and Coke-approved sites instantly, and make sure those internet lolbertarians have to wait to see their blogs – blogs not pre-approved by any corporation, then by all means, let’s defeat net neutrality. If you sorta like freedom, then maybe don’t do what McCain has been paid to as you to do.

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  14. Guest says:

    Imagine a line of people waiting to get through a door. Someone comes along and pulls all the rich kids out of the line. They’re given high priority (because they bought it) and they go through the door first. The problem is that it’s an endless line. So the ones who can’t afford it really can’t go through the door. As the line continually moves forward, the rich kids are the ones who go through, and just outside the door, a collection of kids that can’t afford to pay have to wait. The line in front of the door begins to swell until nobody can get through.

    The way it works now, is first come first serve. If you got to the door first, you get to go through first. That’s what the FCC is trying to protect.

    Why does it have to be an issue of Corporate interest vs. Government control? Is that the only way people see this issue? How short sighted. What about all the areas of the internet that aren’t on the web to make money? Why should they be given low priority if they can’t afford to pay? What happens to sites like Twitter and Wikipedia? What happens to millions of people who use and rely on these sites? What part of the Constitution says the Government has to protect the profits of Corporations?

    How does an FCC rule get twisted into Govt is taking over? They have lots of rules that we follow. I can’t believe people are complaining this is against their freedom. You didn’t even have the internet 20 years ago. What the hell?

    You people need to come back to reality. This isn’t an issue about government control, and loss of freedoms….. its about packet routing, a very dry, nerdy topic, in the world of computing.

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  15. ken says:

    The open and neutral nature of the internet is what has made it the stunning success that it is, both for private individuals and profit-seeking business. Do not let the providers turn it into their own property.

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  16. Guest says:

    The “net neutrality” rules as reported will jeopardize the very goals supported by the Obama administration that every American have access to high-speed Internet services no matter where they live or their economic circumstance. That goal can’t be met with rules that halt private investment in broadband infrastructure. And the jobs associated with that investment will be lost at a time when the country can least afford it.

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    Rating: 1.4/5 (20 votes cast)
    • Jean Naimard says:

      U.S. telecommunication companies have consistently failed to invest in infrastructure, preferring to play unproductive stock-market games with their profits.

      Net Neutrality is the only way to force them to invest in infrastructure in order to guarantee the future.

      Look how letting the banks to themselves has brought them: nationalization.

      If telecom companies do not invest in infrastructure, the government will have to do it for them.

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  17. Guest says:

    America’s wireless consumers enjoy the broadest range of innovative services and devices, lowest prices, highest usage levels, and most choices in the world. Why disrupt a market that’s working so well?

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    Rating: 1.4/5 (19 votes cast)
  18. Guest says:

    We do NOT need government intervention in the internet….it is currently a wonderful vehicle for free speech. net neutrality is doubletalk for government control. Capitalism is working just fine! I repeat NO government intervention! Let freedom ring!

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  19. Guest says:

    Net neutrality is extremely important and without it the ugly side of corporations will rear their heads and begin systematically restricting internet access to sites you don’t want to pay extra for.

    SUPPORT NET NEUTRALITY!

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    Rating: 4.8/5 (21 votes cast)
  20. J D Robertson says:

    Net neutrality is absolutely essential to securing our place, as a nation, in the digitized global economy. There is simply no place for any means of preferential treatment for our nations businesses, news sources, e-tailers, entertainment options, etc. The prevalence of the internet, and its accessibility, has been the closest thing the American public has seen to pure freedom of speech and freedom of commerce in the last 250 years. It would be absolutely foolish, and an true travesty, to change that now, especially for the interests of large corporations.

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    Rating: 4.7/5 (19 votes cast)
  21. Guest says:

    The Internet is becoming the main medium and large companies want to control it. One way of doing this is to throttle different websites or ports like TV channels. Another way is to prioritize service to certain websites, For instance if a ISP is running slow because they have too many users watching youtube the ISP can prioritize to make sure that people can still go to there sponsor (DISNEY) and watch videos.

    All in all we need Net Neutrality to keep the little guy in business not just the fat cats.

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    Rating: 4.9/5 (16 votes cast)
  22. Alex Vance says:

    I believe that given the opportunity, most ISPs will follow Comcast’s lead in picking and choosing which traffic to throttle, and will do so according to policies and political stances that have nothing to do with the end user’s needs and wants.

    That’s the danger of net non-neutrality–ISPs doling out bandwidth arbitrarily and against your interests.

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  23. Guest says:

    We need this. If nothing else the network providers have violated our trust so far. Today we use our networks for everything from phone service to 911 dispatch. NOT having net neutrality means that ISPs are free to charge whatever they like for the connections regardless of the actual impact on heir network. For example they could charge 911 stations a lot more for phone service than they charge for ten times the bandwidth to a home user downloading a movie. ISPs need to be able to manage traffic, but that does not mean that it should be legal for them to manage traffic based on how much they can extort for different services. We do not want ISPs to be able to slow traffic to competitor websites for example. If we allow ISPs to do that network services will become more complex, more expensive and less reliable. WE NEED NET NEUTRALITY.

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  24. Cooper says:

    I think net neutrality is pivotal for keeping information unrestricted in this digital age. We must keep the internet open and not let it fall prey to the interests of big corporations.

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  25. Guest says:

    The internet has become a necessary utility, just like electricity, gas, phone service, etc. (Simple) Government rules are required to maintain it as such. Corporations do not have the same goal of providing a utility and will only do what benefits their own balance sheets (nothing wrong with that, that’s how business operates).

    An example: The corporate ideas of providing prioritized access to content providers who pay the most is something I would rather not ever see. Nobody should control this type of content like that. Government, corporate, or any other group.

    The basic net should be open and free as it always has been.

    Another example: Net throttling should not be allowed. Net providers need to learn to provide the bandwidth needed by customers. I think we’re willing to pay. Let’s not get into the same draconian controls we currently suffer over cell phones in this country vs the rest of the world.

    Good (aka reasonably priced, reliable, and > 20bps) net access should also be pushed into rural areas. This is why it needs to be managed like a true utility. So that everyone has access.

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    • Guest says:

      Agreed… Corporations don’t treat the internet like a utility, they treat it like a commodity. Everything is for sale.

      ISPs don’t need to throttle bandwidth, or find other ways to make up for the cost. The internet should be subsidized like our roads. Build virtual highways like an interstate system of the ethereal. Stop wasting money to highest bidders in Iraq. Let the military do its job, at a lower cost, and push funding to telecom infrastructure. Like cash for clunkers, companies should get a break on the cost if they trade in old broken equipment to be stripped down and recycled. If they don’t want to then they can still buy it on their own. For the ones that do it should lower some of the overall costs. Then there’s no need to throttle the connection.

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  26. Fenative Barker says:

    Net Neutrality is the free speech fight of the 21st Century. While our founding fathers could never have imagined anything like the internet, their dedication, fight, and commitment to free speech would without doubt carry into the digital realm.

    Recent history has shown us the downfalls of privatization. Our markets, commodities, and most of the things our daily lives depend upon are not in the hands of the government, but corporations. While it is unlikely that the internet would fall like Lehman Brothers did, it could become home to corrupt decision making, and poor judgment.

    I leave you with this question: Do you remember when you first started using the internet? I do, it was over 10 years ago, and you know what, there were hardly any ads. Now you cant even visit most search engines without being bombarded by ads. No imagine the internet was controlled by a private company. What do you think your use experience would be like now? Think about it.

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  27. Guest says:

    Actually the banking and automotive industries were bailed out by the Republicans. Under educated Republicans like you are the problem with the country today. What freedoms have you personally lost or for that matter anyone that you know lost? It has only been 9 months since the new president was elected, we had 8 years of your beloved Bush dragging us into the worst economic downturn in decades and you didn’t complain then.

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  28. JGBVI says:

    The way things are now are great I feel. No one is being charged for using X amount of bandwidth, and we have access to any information that we want to seek out. This is the way things have been, and should remain. I find it ridiculous that in this country, we have some of the most expensive, and worst internet services available in the world (and they still don’t charge for bandwidth usages in most places out side the USA, yet their service is much better. I suppose the ISPs there are more concerned about keeping an informed public rather than inflated profits.)

    The internet being free is an amazing thing, this allows people of all backgrounds and all classes a chance at learning if they so desire. People who oppose net neutrality are playing off peoples fears of the government being too controlling, but I worry that internet providers run by larger corporations (EG: Comcast / Direct TV being apart of Murdocs NewsCorp) will be able to censor and limit what people have access to. Do we really want people using comcast only able to access Fox news and Myspace.com?

    I understand peoples fears on the FCC regulating the internet, but the seeks to prevent the things I hear most people worrying about

    “Under the draft rules, subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service:
    1) may not prevent any of its users from sending or receiving the lawful content of the user’s choice over the Internet;” To address this quickly, I hear most people saying they are worried about government censorship, but I worry more about ISPs censoring what we have access to, in order to better support their interests.

    “2) may not prevent any of its users from running the lawful applications or using the lawful services of the user’s choice” many of my friends study outside the USA and I am a user of Skype for communicating with them, it takes up a bit of bandwidth and also is one of the cheapest ways for me to communicate running on a starving artist’s budget.

    “4) deprive any of its users of the user’s entitlement to competition among network providers, application providers, service providers, and content providers.” Seeing things like this clause worry me that people behind net neutrality have already been approached with services by broadband providers that would limit users to the ISP’s brand only email, video services, news services, etc… We would lose so much of our freedoms to corporate interest here.

    I feel that net neutrality is an essential part of keeping our country informed, many of us cannot afford internet as it is, and to have our access limited by broadband caps and censorship feels to me it would be criminal. I for one am proud that the FCC has taken the stance to protect net neutrality and I am with them 100% on this stance, and I would ask others to join me.

    A strong United States comes from an informed public, not supporting net neutrality may hinder this greatly, please, I urge you dearly, support net neutrality.

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  29. Ivan says:

    I support net neutrality; if nothing is done about curtailing the power of corporate greed the telecoms, and cable providers would throttle our internet connections just so that they can keep earning ridiculous amounts of profits. What I especially find infuriating is that the telecoms charge a very high for for unlimited mobile web browsing, but the service is not unlimited! Everywhere else in the developed world, the price of cell phone plans are cheaper and they provide the same services as here in the U.S. Also, most developed nations have a much faster access to the internet than we do; even though the prices are extremely similar.
    That is why I support net neutrality, because it will prevent corporate greed from extracting every possible dollar from my body.

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    • Tania says:

      I second your message. I support net neutrality

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  30. Guest says:

    There are ways to provide affordable internet access to all without regulating what providers build and invest. Heavy regulations have historically proven to be unhealthy for industry and innovation.

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    Rating: 1.0/5 (19 votes cast)
    • Jean Naimard says:

      Telcos have played stock market games instead of investing in infrastructure.

      The reason they oppose net neutrality is that net neutrality will painfully expose their infrastructure shortcomings, which they would not have had had they invested their profits in infrastructure rather than playing merger games.

      CAPTCHA: Delaware’s mending (how ironic that Delaware has very lax incorporation standards and most financial companies incorporate there)…

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  31. Guest says:

    Please please please keep the internet open and innovative by instituting a strict net neutrality policy.

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (16 votes cast)