Dec 022010
 
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US proposals to ensure the net remains an open and neutral platform have drawn criticism from the wireless industry.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has for the first time targeted the wireless world to ensure all web traffic is treated equally.

The new rules would require firms to respect so-called “network neutrality.”

Industry critics argue that the newly proposed rules, combined with existing policies, will stifle innovation and undermine investment.

However, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said doing nothing was not an option.

In his first major speech since his appointment earlier in the summer, he told an audience in Washington that the rules were “not about government regulation of the internet”.

“History’s lesson is clear. Ensuring a robust and open internet is the best thing we can do to promote investment and innovation,” he told the audience at Washington think-tank the Brookings Institution.

“And while there are some who see every policy decision as either pro-business or pro-consumer, I reject that approach; it’s not the right way to see technology’s role in America.”

The FCC’s proposals are meant to ensure that internet service providers cannot block or slow down traffic, such as bandwidth-hogging video downloads. Operators must also be transparent about network management, it said.

Criticism

Almost as soon as Mr Genachowski stepped off the podium, industry critics condemned the inclusion of wireless traffic in the new policy proposals.

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