The New FCC Regulator`s Mobile Plan
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Just three months ago President Obama appointed Julius Genachowski to serve as the nationís new chief of telecommunications regulator. Recently, Genachowski took a major step by voicing his commitment to net neutrality and making public the administrationís new rules and requirements regarding ISPs. These rules will be put in place as a way to treat traffic on the Internet equally by extending and codifying the agency's network neutrality principles for wireline broadband providers and extending those same rules to wireless networks.
As of October 23, the FCC voted unanimously to move forward with Genachowski's plan to formalize net neutrality guidelines. Senator John McCain, however, followed the vote with an introduction to a bill that would prohibit the FCC from governing communications. Very recently, a group of GOP lawmakers tried initiating a similar attempt, but the amendment was retracted quickly with little word as to why.
McCain's bill, which is titled the Internet Freedom Act, actually wants to do the opposite of what the bill's name implies by making sure broadband and wireless providers are able to discriminate against certain traffic, while giving preferential treatment to other types of traffic. Essentially, those in powerful positions or those who can afford to pay more will have better access.
Those opposed to net neutrality claim the free market will police itself and that any restrictions placed on net neutrality will only succeed in stifling innovation and competition. Many would argue that would be a valid argument, if recent examples didn't illustrate otherwise.
Take Comcast for example. The company recently tried to throttle peer-to-peer networking traffic, but changed their policy once the threat of FCC net neutrality rules became apparent. AT&T was also in the works to block their customers from using VoIP services from its wireless network, but the company quickly changed its policy when faced with the repercussions of the FCC's net neutrality rules. These examples seem to illustrate the fact that providers only do what's considered "right" when faced with net neutrality rules, which doesn't really bode well for McCain's bill or the GOP's feelings on the subject.
It should be pointed out that the FCC's vote is only the beginning of the debate. Those opposed to net neutrality have 120 days to gather any pertinent information, collect conclusive data, and present their case. Despite being met with opposition on this subject, Genachowski is actually being applauded for his new agenda concerning mobile broadband and is taking major strides to make change happen.
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