The Federal Communications Commission, like the rest of Washington D.C. these days, is a divided and partisan commission—so it’s not surprising that on something as controversial as new internet guidelines, shaped by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and widely referred to as “net neutrality” for its open access mandate, ideological outlooks guided the commissioners decisions. It’s also not surprising that nobody is particularly happy with the outcome. The net neutrality rules are designed to keep open and fair access to broadband, specifically by preventing the nation’s biggest telecommunication companies from walling off their corners of the internet. The FCC’s three Democrats are voting in favor of net neutrality with hesitation, criticizing the plan’s allowance of tiered access to specific internet services. The two Republican commissioners are voting against it, saying that net neutrality is government interference in the free market of the internet. How will the little guys in all of this, the end internet users, feel about net neutrality?
Michael Copps, Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission
Art Brodsky, communications director, Public Knowledge
Scott Cleland, Chairman of NetCompetition.org, a pro-competition forum supported by broadband interests and President of Precursor LLC and industry consulting firm