NYC Considers Net Neutrality Resolution

Under a proposal before New York City Council Committee on Technology in Government, New York City would endorse Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski's initiative to codify and broaden FCC's network neutrality principles.

The New York City Council Committee on Technology in Government is set to consider Nov. 20 a resolution favoring stronger network neutrality regulations. Resolution 712A-2007 asks the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and Congress to set "firm net neutrality standards."
The resolution follows close on the heels of a Nov. 17 New York City debate on network neutrality during the Web 2.0 Expo.
The FCC currently enforces network neutrality on a case-by-case basis through four principles the agency approved in 2005. The principles prohibit broadband carriers from blocking lawful Internet content, applications and services and allows users to attach legal devices to the network.
Shortly after taking over as chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski proposed Sept. 21 to codify the agency's existing network neutrality principles and to expand the rules, including requiring carriers to deliver broadband in a non-discriminatory manner and to disclose their network management policies in a transparent manner. Genachowski also said the FCC would explore whether to extend network neutrality rules to mobile carriers.
Since Genachowski's proposal, carriers and some members of Congress have loudly objected, arguing that the FCC should not attempt to regulate the Internet. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) introduced legislation that would prohibit the FCC from enacting rules that would result in the regulation of the Internet.
"All over this city [NYC], people are going online for a different reason. They want to create a business. Whether it's a new blog, or new application or Website, every developer needs the certainty that he or she can reach an audience," Art Brodsky, Public Knowledge's communication director, said in prepared testimony on the NYC resolution. "The developers need the certainty that the customers make the decision to see their videos or hear their music, not that the telephone, cable or wireless company makes the decision for them by favoring one company over another with special deals."
Public Knowledge is a public-interest advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that has long favored network neutrality.