Even before the Comcast decision in April, friends of the open Internet were debating the best way to establish a strong foundation for FCC oversight of the powerful corporations that control Internet access in the U.S. Today the FCC took an important first step to establish that foundation, officially asking for input from the public on the best way forward. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has outlined his “third way” approach, and we like it. Now he’s asking others to weigh in on whether the status quo (under which the FCC has no real power to protect net neutrality) is acceptable, whether the full panoply of telecom regulations that govern telephone service should apply to the Internet, or if the Chairman’s “third way” is the best approach.
We’ve made it clear how we feel – the Third Way is a careful balance that provides much-needed oversight in an otherwise failing marketplace. Others are already weighing in, too. The Center for Democracy and Technology, Public Knowledge, Free Press, and the Open Internet Coalition (of which ARL is a member) have all issued positive statements on the plan.
Several members of Congress have expressed skepticism of the FCC’s plans, so it’s important that if you believe the FCC is on the right track, you let your representatives know how you feel! Several organizations have online forms you can use to send your views to the Hill:
Public Knowledge will help you send a letter praising today’s move directly to your congressman.
Free Press has a strongly-worded letter to FCC and Congress that you can join here.
No doubt there will be other groups collecting signatures and facilitating submission of comments to the FCC in the weeks ahead.