An addendum has been added to the FCC's agenda for the December 21 meeting: net neutrality. The addendum is labeled "Open Internet Order" and notes that "FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will outline his net neutrality proposal in a speech" and that he plans to bring the issue to a vote by the "end of the year." Thanks Engadget. Here's the full addendum:
"Open Internet Order: An Order adopting basic rules of the road to preserve the open Internet as a platform for innovation, investment, competition, and free expression. These rules would protect consumers' and innovators' right to know basic information about broadband service, right to send and receive lawful Internet traffic, and right to a level playing field, while providing broadband Internet access providers with the flexibility to reasonably manage their networks."
An advanced copy of the chairman's speech has made its way to the Associated Press, which outlines what the FCC wants to accomplish with net neutrality rules. The following excerpt cuts right to the chase:
"Wired broadband providers will be required to let subscribers access all legal content, applications, and services with the flexibility to manage network congestion and spam as long as they publicly disclose their network management approach. Broadband providers would also be allowed to experiment with dedicated networks to route traffic from specialized services like smart grids and home security systems as long as they "don't hurt the public internet."
The New York Times is reporting that the FCC will let service providers introduce usage-based pricing:
"The proposal will allow broadband companies to impose usage-based pricing, charging customers higher prices if they make heavy use of data-rich applications like streaming movies. Users who use the Internet only to check e-mail, for example, could be charged lower prices for using less data."
Expect to here a lot of noise today about the contents of that speech and a planned vote from both sides of the issue.