FCC Chief Vows Net Neutrality Enforcement
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski says the agency is fully prepared to enforce its network neutrality principles. Genachowski's comments come as Comcast has gone to court challenging the FCC's network neutrality authority.FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski reaffirmed his commitment to network neutrality Aug. 25. Genachowski helped craft then-presidential candidate Barack Obama's technology policy, which strongly supports network neutrality.
"One thing I would say so that there is no confusion out there is that this FCC will support net neutrality and will enforce [its rules in the case of] any violation of net neutrality principles," Genachowski told newspaper The Hill.
Genachowski's comments come as broadband provider Comcast is asking the court to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's 2008 decision finding that Comcast violated the FCC's network neutrality principles by throttling peer-to-peer traffic from BitTorrent. Comcast contends that its practices were reasonable under FCC network management rules and that even if the FCC found Comcast in violation, the agency's network neutrality principles were based on an "ancillary" authority the FCC does not possess. Comcast filed its appeal in September 2008.
Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen said his company appealed the decision "to protect our legal rights and to challenge the basis on which the commission found that Comcast violated federal policy in the absence of pre-existing, legally enforceable standards or rules."
Genachowski, a top aide to two former Democratic FCC chairmen and co-founder and managing director of LaunchBox Digital and Rock Creek Ventures, with experience as an executive with Barry Diller's InterActiveCorp and a board member of several Internet ventures, including Expedia and The Motley Fool, is widely considered to be architect of President Obama's Technology and Innovation Plan, which supports "the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet."