Genachowski, the Journal, and Net Neutrality

Earlier today, FCC chair Julius Genachowski delivered a speech in which he laid out two new proposals for FCC adoption:

The first says broadband providers cannot discriminate against particular Internet content or applications. The second says broadband providers must be transparent about their network management practices. These principles would apply to the Internet however it is accessed, though how they apply may differ depending on the access platform or technology used. Of course, network operators will be permitted to implement reasonable network management practices to address issues such as spam, address copyright infringement, and otherwise ensure a safe and secure network for all users.

I also proposed that the FCC formally enshrine the four pre-existing agency policies that say network operators cannot prevent users from accessing the lawful Internet content, applications, and services of their choice, nor can they prohibit users from attaching non-harmful devices to the network.

Genachowski’s own write-up of the proposals in question—its tone tinged with idealism about the Internet and the people who use it—is worth a read. Still, a significantly more informative report on the proposals can be found in today’s Wall Street Journal. Detailed, straightforward, and appropriately contextualized, “U.S. as Traffic Cop in Web Fight” focuses not merely on the regulations being proposed, but also on what they might mean—to users, businesses, and the hotly contested notion of net neutrality.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.