Stanford Law professor Barbara van Schewick has written a post detailing some of the improvements to the FCC Chairman’s/AT&T’s net neutrality proposal negotiated by FCC Commissioners Copps and Clyburn. Commissioners Copps and Clyburn negotiated for several weeks to improve the order so that it was not a collection of safe harbors and loop holes for the benefit of AT&T, but instead the strongest rule to which the Chairman would agree, one that could provide some protections to citizens, speakers, innovators, and everyone else using the Internet.
Prof. van Schewick’s post is called “The FCC’s Open Internet Rules – Stronger than You Think.” She explains that, “Commissioners Copps and Clyburn did not get the exact protections for users and innovators they had asked for,” but that “they managed to improve the chairman’s original proposal quite a bit.”
The debate over an open Internet will continue. But Commissioners Clyburn and Copps deserve considerable thanks in the important role they played in this latest chapter.
Here are some of the points detailed in Prof. van Schewick’s post:
In particular, the text of the [net neutrality] order
• sets out important principles that will guide the commission’s interpretation of the non-discrimination rule and the reasonable network management exception;
• explicitly bans network providers from charging application and content providers for access to the network providers’ Internet service customers;
• stops just short of an explicit ban on charging application and content providers for prioritized or otherwise enhanced access to these customers (this second practice is often called “paid prioritization”); and
• keeps alive the threat of regulation with respect to the mobile Internet.