Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski brought his rallying cry for Net Neutrality to the Future of Music Conference in Washington on Monday.
Noting the musicians that have supported this cause - from Bruce Springsteen to R.E.M. and Pearl Jam - Genachowski said, "With a free and open Internet, you don’t have to have big-time, star-power leverage over record labels, publishing companies, commercial radio stations, or particular retailers to get your music to the public. In today’s broadband world, the artists themselves can be self-empowering -- they are free to connect with audiences, paying customers, and musical social networks in ways previously unimaginable."
Genachowski also noted the importance of greater broadband access for consumers and producers of music. "A survey of 7,500 people by the country music industry's trade organization revealed a disconcerting fact: Only 50 percent of core country fans have Internet access at home. For country artists, this means 50 percent of their market is currently unreachable online." He used the musicians to weigh in to the FCC's process of developing a national broadband plan.
The full testimony is available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-293837A1.doc