The Obama Plan To Preserve a Free And Open Internet
It's fair to say that Barack Obama would not have become President without the Internet. Not without the blogosphere or the larger netroots, but the Internet. It became this incredible organizing tool for his campaign, yielding millions of volunteer actions and coordinating it all with the most efficiency and lowest cost. There is no way a volunteer architecture like that could have existed without the Internet. So this President, more than anyone, understands the power of online activity, and the need to keep it open and free.
Which is why this pleasant news doesn't surprise me:
The Federal Communications Commission's proposal of new rules to prevent companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deliberately blocking or slowing certain Web traffic is expected to receive a passing three votes out of the five-member agency, according to sources.
The proposal, to be announced Monday by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, will include an additional guideline for carriers that they make public the way they manage traffic on their network, according to sources at the agency. The additional guideline would be a "sixth principle" to four existing guidelines adopted in 2005 on Internet network operations. A fifth principle is expected to be announced by Genachowski on Monday during a speech at the Brookings Institute that would prohibit the discrimination of applications and services on telecommunications, cable and wireless Internet networks.
That speech is right here and it's a good one. Genachowski explains that the Internet derives its power completely from its openness, its freedom from bias toward any particular content that allows for expansion and innovation. If you want the short version of Genachowski's argument, it's here. Read it.
Genachowski's FCC team has created a website at OpenInternet.gov. If the Obama Administration does nothing else, by preserving a free and open Internet and keeping the telecoms at bay he will have made a great contribution to America's future.
...Joe Sestak's campaign just emailed me this:
"This is the right thing for consumers," Congressman Sestak said. "At the end of the day, maintaining equal access to the Internet is what matters. Consumers should decide what content they view and their Representatives in Congress should not surrender that right to special interest pressure in favor of a system where corporations selectively control our access to the internet."
Good for him coming out in support.