The Federal Communications Commission just approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Net Neutrality this morning, following through on its promise to preserve an open Internet.
The 1.6 million people who have supported Net Neutrality over the years, and the tens of thousands who came out in the last three days to stand behind the FCC, should be celebrating. Today's vote is an important step toward securing the open Internet and a victory for the public interest and civil rights organizations, small businesses, Internet innovators, political leaders and the public.
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 agency is seeking public comment on these proposals, with initial comments due by Jan. 14 and reply comments due by March 5. We'll let you know as soon as you can start filing official comments.
To the FCC's credit, they moved forward on Net Neutrality anyway. It is very heartening to see the Obama administration stand up for the public interest, even if it means opposing a few dozen Congressional Democrats.
For my money, this has been the best two days of the Obama administration to date. Progressive policy is moving forward.