A Victory for Net Neutrality

We’ve blogged often about the importance of network neutrality. Well there’s been an important and historic development. Yesterday, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Net Neutrality, which follows through on its earlier promises to preserve an open Internet.

Over 1.6 million people have supported Net Neutrality in the past few years and more than tens of thousands came out in the last week to stand behind the FCC. Yesterday’s vote was an extremely important step forward in securing an open Internet and it was a decisive victory for the public interest and civil rights organizations, small businesses, Internet innovators, political leaders and the public who will all be impacted by this decision.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn voted in favor of the rulemaking; Commissioners Meredith Attwell Baker and Robert McDowell gave partial support to the proposal.

The proposed rules would codify the four open Internet principles that now guide the FCC’s oversight and enforcement of communications law. The FCC also proposed rules that would codify two new principles prohibiting Internet service providers from discriminating against content or applications and ensuring that network management practices be transparent.

The FCC is seeking public comment on these proposals, with initial comments due by January 14, 2010 and reply comments due by March 5. Free Press will send an announcement out as soon as you can start filing official comments.

This victory is no doubt in part due to the hard working folks in the media reform movement. Congratulations to them all! Let’s hope this is the first in a series of victories for Network Neutrality.