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FCC Seeks Input on How to Treat Specialized Services, Mobile Broadband

in Broadband Updates/FCC/Mobile Broadband/National Broadband Plan/Net Neutrality/Transparency by

WASHINGTON, September 1, 2010 - Sometimes, no matter what you do, things are complicated and you can’t please every one all the time. Welcome to the world of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski who said Wednesday that his agency is seeking more public input on issues related to specialized services and mobile broadband.

He issued a statement Wednesday defending his agency’s diligent efforts to “preserve the freedom and openness of the internet” in the face of a longstanding and acrimonious debate on how to do just that.

Genachowski expressed concern over recent events highlighting questions on how open internet rules should apply to specialized services and mobile broadband. While he didn’t specifically refer to the recent controversial policy pact made by Google and Verizon regarding managed services and wireless issues, he was presumably reacting to it.

“We have moved from a world of four disputed and unenforceable open Internet principles -- about blocking by broadband providers of lawful online content, applications, and services -- toward the acceptance of six enforceable rules: the original four principles plus the concepts of nondiscrimination and transparency,” he said, adding that “these would prevent broadband providers from wrongly playing favorites with lawful Internet speech or businesses, and would empower consumers and entrepreneurs with information about broadband choices and networks.”

He said the issues are complex and the "details matter. Even a proposal that accepts enforceable rules can be flawed in its specifics and risk undermining the fundamental goal of preserving the open Internet."

He announced that the FCC’s Wireline and Wireless bureaus are seeking further public comment on issues related to specialized services and mobile broadband. Genachowski said the information gleaned from this latest inquiry will “help complete our efforts to construct an enforceable framework to preserve Internet freedom and openness.”

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