In July, the DCIA was among a record number of organizations and individuals to submit public comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its 2014 Open Internet Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NRPM) on how the Commission should ensure that the Internet remains open.
In fact, the FCC’s website was so inundated with comments in support of Net Neutrality that it crashed multiple times, leading the FCC to extend its submission period several times.
We remarked at the time that reviewing the million or more submissions qualified this exercise as a cloud computing big data project.
This week, to further develop its understanding of the issues and examine the actions it may take, the Commission announced that it will host a series of staff-led Open Internet Roundtable Discussions at its headquarters.
The roundtables will be free and open to the public, and will also be streamed live here.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will preside over the roundtables. Democrat Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel as well as Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly will be there to discuss the issues.
These discussions will focus on public policy considerations and how they should be addressed to protect and promote Internet openness in both the fixed and mobile markets; the technological considerations involved in protecting the open Internet; how the competitive landscape and the economics of providing broadband and online services affects Internet openness; how the Commission can effectively enforce the current and proposed open Internet requirements; and the various legal theories underlying possible Commission actions in this area.
Here’s the schedule for the roundtables and the designated FCC bureau staff member to contact for more information, including requests to participate in these discussions:
Policy Approaches to Ensure an Open Internet — Tuesday September 16th morning — Kristine Fargotstein, Wireline Competition Bureau, 202-418-2774.
Mobile Broadband and the Open Internet — Tuesday September 16th afternoon — Dan Ball, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Spectrum and Competition Policy Division, 202-418-1577.
Effective Enforcement of Open Internet Requirements — Friday September 19th morning — Stephen Ruckman, 202-418-8192.
Technological Aspects of an Open Internet — Friday September 19th afternoon — Henning Schulzrinne.
Economics of Broadband: Market Successes and Market Failures — Thursday October 2nd — Tim Brennan.
Internet Openness and the Law Tuesday October 7th — Stephanie Weiner.
The decisions of the FCC and lawmakers regarding Net Neutrality are extremely important to the advancement of the cloud computing industry.
Columbia University Law Professor Tim Wu, credited with coining the term, said, “Network Neutrality is best defined as a network design principle.”
"The idea is that a maximally useful public information network aspires to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally."
"This allows the network to carry every form of information and support every kind of application."
"The principle suggests that information networks are often more valuable when they are lessspecialized — when they are a platform for multiple uses, present and future."
"A useful way to understand this principle is to look at other networks, like the electric grid, which are implicitly built on a neutrality theory."
"The general purpose and neutral nature of the electric grid is one of the things that make it extremely useful."
"The electric grid does not care if you plug in a toaster, an iron, or a computer."
"Consequently it has survived and supported giant waves of innovation in the appliance market."
"The electric grid worked for the radios of the 1930s works for the flat screen TVs of the 2000s."
"For that reason the electric grid is a model of a neutral, innovation-driving network."
Numerous young Americans have asked the FCC to preserve Net Neutrality so that they can better compete in the workforce and have equal access to all information on the web, regardless of point of origin.
Others have referenced America’s commitment to a free-market economy and the basic structure of capitalism, which demands that all ventures have equal opportunity to compete, so that the best services can be made available to the public.
And most commenters have agreed that it is the FCC’s job to defend the Internet’s integrity. Share wisely, and take care.