Net neutrality plan has the votes at FCC

Swing vote Copps says he'll vote for the net neutrality proposal from Genachowski

Michael Copps, the swing vote at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for a set of network neutrality rules, said Monday he will vote for the proposal.

The FCC is scheduled to vote Tuesday for net neutrality rules proposed by Chairman Julius Genachowski. The commission's two Republicans have said they plan to vote against the proposal, meaning Genachowski would need support from both his fellow Democrats, Copps and Mignon Clyburn, to approve the rules.

Copps has raised questions about Genachowski's proposal, which several net neutrality advocates have criticized as too weak. Earlier this month, Copps suggested that the best way to pass net neutrality rules would be for the FCC to reclassify broadband as a regulated, common-carrier service.

But Copps on Monday said he planned to vote for Genachowski's proposal, even though it would not reclassify broadband as the chairman had earlier advocated. Copps suggested there have been changes to the proposal since Genachowski first announced it earlier this month.

"The item we will vote on tomorrow is not the one I would have crafted," he said in a statement. "But I believe we have been able to make the current iteration better than what was originally circulated. If vigilantly and vigorously implemented by the commission -- and if upheld by the courts -- it could represent an important milestone in the ongoing struggle to safeguard the awesome opportunity-creating power of the open Internet."

Copps said he cannot vote "wholeheartedly" for the proposal, but he would not block it, either.

"These past three weeks have been devoted on my part to intensive discussions about ensuring the continued openness of the Internet and putting consumers, not Big Phone and Big Cable, in maximum control of their online experiences," he said. "I have been fighting for nearly a decade to make sure the Internet doesn't travel down the same road of special interest consolidation and gate-keeper control that other media and telecommunications industries -- radio, television, film and cable -- have traveled. What a historic tragedy it would be to let that fate befall the dynamism of the Internet."

Genachowski's proposal would prohibit broadband providers from blocking customer access to legal Web content. If approved, the FCC would also require providers to disclose their network management practices to customers.

The proposal would bar wireline-based broadband providers from "unreasonable discrimination" against Web traffic, but it would not impose that same rule on mobile broadband providers.

Copps is supporting a "fake" net neutrality proposal, said Free Press, a media reform group that has pushed for strong net neutrality rules. Free Press and other net neutrality advocates have criticized the proposal for treating mobile broadband differently than wired broadband and for exempting managed services from net neutrality rules.

“We are deeply disappointed that this commission appears to be moving forward with deeply flawed rules that don’t live up to the promises of the president or the FCC chairman to protect the free and open Internet," Craig Aaron, Free Press' managing director, said in a statement. "These rules appear to be flush with giant loopholes, and the FCC chairman seems far more concerned with winning the endorsement of AT&T and the cable lobbyists than with listening to the millions of Americans who have pleaded with him to fix his proposal."

Clyburn said Monday she will also vote for the proposal.

“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," she said in a statement. "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."

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags free presstelecommunicationMichael CoppsJulius GenachowskiregulationU.S. Federal Communications CommissiongovernmentMignon ClyburninternetInternet service providersbroadband

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?