A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal that would require Internet service providers to treat all network traffic equally was met with resistance by Republicans on Capitol Hill today.
FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski is expected to unveil a policy that advocates network neutrality this week. If the policy is implemented, providers would no longer be able to interfere with information that flows through their networks. ISPs, including Comcast, have managed peer-to-peer network traffic to alleviate network congestion, and oppose the concept.
Senate Republicans also stand in opposition to net neutrality, and moved to deny the FCC funding for developing or implementing new Internet regulations. Genachowski was appointed to the FCC by President Obama.
“I am deeply concerned by the direction the FCC appears to be heading. Even during a severe downturn, America has experienced robust investment and innovation in network performance and online content and applications,” Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said in a statement. ” She said that regulations could stifle innovation, and that the marketplace would respond to companies that exhibit questionable behavior.
Vinton Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet Protocol and Google evangalist, and Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, favor network neutrality. Berners-Lee believes that ISPs seek to shift customers to a tiered pricing model, where access to information pipelines will be tightly controlled.
I agree with Berners-Lee, and would rather see preemptive regulation than for Internet users to lose the benefits of the Internet. Toll booths would impede–not encourage–innovation. What do you think?