NEW YORK TIMES: In a move to make good on one of President Obama’s campaign promises, Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will propose Monday that the agency expand and formalize rules meant to keep Internet providers from discriminating against certain content flowing over their networks, according to several officials briefed on his plans.While the communications industry does not like more regulation, it has generally not found it difficult to comply with the existing four principles, lobbyists said. But there are a few areas where opposition is expected.
In 2005, the commission adopted four broad principles relating to the idea of network neutrality as part of a move to deregulate the Internet services provided by telephone companies. Those principles declared that consumers had the right to use the content, applications, services and devices of their choice using the Internet. They also promoted competition between Internet providers. In a speech Monday at the Brookings Institution, Mr. Genachowski is expected to outline a proposal to add a fifth principle that will prevent Internet providers from discriminating against certain services or applications. Consumer advocates are concerned that Internet providers might ban or degrade services that compete with their own offerings, like television shows delivered over the Web.
Some Internet providers see opportunity in offering faster or more reliable connections to some companies offering services over the Web. A company offering high-definition movies, for example, might pay an Internet provider to deliver them more quickly.Some public advocates are concerned that such services might quickly transform the largely egalitarian Internet into a system that offered first-class service only to the wealthiest players, relegating independent sites to the slow lane. MORE
EXPLAINER: To understand what an Internet without net neutrality would be like, imagine that Comcast is the elevator operator in a 20 story building. Some people get on board and say ‘20th floor, please’ and that is where Comcast takes them. Others get on board and say ‘20th floor please’ and are told, ‘Sorry, this elevator doesn’t go that high.’
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