Net neutrality has become the buzzword for internet service provider regulation. Net neutrality is a simple concept: first come, first serve.
The new rules allow the FCC to regulate internet service providers in order to prevent them from blocking lawful content, even if that content is a competitor to the provider. It also forces these service providers to be transparent about how they manage networks, and allow any lawful content.
The FCC, made up of five memebers, was decidely split on whether or not to approve these new rules. The three democrats, Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn approved it. The two republicans, Robert McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker, dissented.
Here were tidbits of their opinions during the FCC meeting to decide net neutrality.
Chairman Julius Genachowski: Voted To Approve
Given the importance of an open Internet to our economic future, given the potentially irreversible nature of some harmful practices, and given the competition issues among broadband providers, it is essential that the FCC fulfill its historic role as a cop on the beat to ensure the vitality of our communications networks and to empower and protect consumers of those network. At the same time, government must not overreach by imposing rules that are overly restrictive or that assume perfect knowledge about this dynamic and rapidly changing marketplace. Today, we are adopting a set of high-level rules of the road that strikes the right balance between the imperatives
Commissioner Mignon L Clyburn: Voted To Approve
The open Internet is a crucial American marketplace, and I believe that it is appropriate for the FCC to safeguard it by adopting an Order that will establish clear rules to protect consumers' access. The Commission has worked tirelessly to offer a set of guidelines that, while not as strong as they could be, will nonetheless protect consumers as they explore, learn, and innovate online. As such, I vote to approve in part and concur in part the Open Internet Order.
Commissioner Michael Copps: Voted To Approve
Without some action, the wheels of net neutrality would grind to a halt for the next two years. The past three weeks, with all the interested parties to ensure openness of internet, we made progress. It's not as much as I had hoped, but more than people expected. The language from this is acceptable to something I can concur.
Commissioner Robert McDowell: Voted To Dissent
The FCC is defying a court precedent and circumventing the bipartisan majority with this move, more than 300 members of which warned the FCC against legal authority. The FCC is not congress and cannot make laws. Some say this is the FCC acting as a cop. But really this is the FCC being a vigilante. The FCC has provocatively gone on a collision course with the legislative branch of our government. On the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, this is one of the darkest days in recent FCC history. There is no end in sight to the commission's power.
Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker: Voted To Dissent
Preserving the open internet should be a non-negotiable thing. It's the bedrock of the internet, I think we can all agree. Government action is not necessary to preserve it. Net neutrality rules the heavy hand of government can intervene, not because it needs to, because it wants to...There is no rational means to survey the damage they did...They were doing this to deliver on the President's campaign promise. I think this process failed at every step. My office didn't receive today's orders until 11:30 am last night, 12 hours before the meeting. That's inexcusable. Mr. Chairman you set expectations at a higher bar, and now you have picked an inopportune time to fail those expectations.