FCC publishes draft net neutrality legislation

23 Oct 2009

US regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has lodged a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), approving and publishing draft net neutrality regulations amid dissent from republican representatives and ISPs which believe that the measures are unnecessary. As reported by CommsUpdate on 22 September, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski announced that the regulator would introduce legislation which would prevent ISPs from discriminating against particular internet content or applications, while requiring operators to maintain transparency over their network congestion policies. ISPs such as Verizon and AT&T have slammed the proposed legislation, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said: ‘If this burdensome regime of net regulation is imposed on all parts of the internet industry, it will inject an extraordinary amount of bureaucratic oversight into the economy’s main growth engine for the future.’ Meanwhile web-based companies have praised the measures, saying that the rules would allow innovation and investment in products without fear of reprisal from ISPs, who could otherwise have become ‘gatekeepers’ to the internet. The FCC is now seeking public comment on the draft regulations which it hopes to pass into law next year.