Internet road rules near FCC vote

Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:12pm EST
 

More than 80 groups sent a letter to the FCC on December 10, saying Genachowski's proposal was not "real" net neutrality.

They demanded a ban on paid prioritization of online content, which would prohibit Internet providers from charging websites for a "fast lane" to reach users more quickly.

"It is likely that there is going to be strong language disfavoring paid prioritization," said Andrew Jay Schwartzman, senior vice president and policy director of the Media Access Project.

Medley Global Advisors analyst Jeffrey Silva said Copps and Clyburn would likely vote to adopt the rules, but issue statements outlining where they believe the regulations fall short.

Specific details of the draft order have not been made public as the commissioners work to shape the final proposal.

Silva expects the final rules to stay close to Genachowski's December 1 outline of his proposal, to avoid angering the various Internet stakeholders currently backing his plan.

Arbogast said tougher rules would stir up these stakeholders and could prompt more aggressive challenges of the rules in court, particularly from wireless carriers like AT&T Inc and the cable television companies.

Schwartzman said everybody who is unhappy will go to court. "I would expect challenges from all directions -- people who think it's gone too far and people who think it hasn't gone far enough."

 
<p>A videographer is silhouetted in front of a video presentation featuring Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski during the International CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada March 23, 2010. REUTERS/Steve Marcus</p>