October 22nd, 2009 | Published in Google Public Policy
This morning, the FCC voted unanimously to begin consideration of proposed rules that would protect and promote open broadband pipes to the Internet. Over the next several months, an official rulemaking proceeding will take place, along with public workshops and technical advisory discussions, allowing everyone to provide feedback before the Commission adopts a final set of rules.
There's been a lot of noise out there, but let's review what's at stake: The Internet was built and has thrived as an open platform, where individuals and entrepreneurs -- not network owners -- can connect and interact, choose marketplace winners and losers, and create new services and content on a level playing field. No one seems to disagree with that fundamental proposition. This new proceeding is aimed at opening a national dialogue on how best to protect that unique environment. For our part, we fully support the adoption of "rules of the road" to ensure that the broadband on-ramps to the Net remain open and robust.
This is a critical debate for the future of the Internet, and no doubt there are different viewpoints on how to move forward. Some detractors unfortunately have gone so far as to work behind the scenes to try to derail the start of an open and transparent process at the Commission. But as Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam showed in last evening's joint blog post, stakeholders can work together with mutual respect to find common ground, even as we acknowledge and defend important policy differences.
We will be weighing in with our thoughts starting in mid-January. We hope you will do the same.