As Talks Break Down, What’s Next for Net Neutrality?

Talks between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and stakeholders on net neutrality fell apart yesterday, amidst reports that Google and Verizon had made a private deal over the management of Internet traffic.

The FCC had been meeting with stakeholders, including the Open Internet Coalition, of which AALL is a member, and industry groups like the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, to try to find agreement on how the FCC should proceed on net neutrality.

AALL supports Chairman Genachowski’s recent proposal to allow the FCC to regulate the transmission component of Internet access. We believe the plan is a sensible approach that would ensure that the FCC could continue to promote a free and open Internet while protecting users from discrimination. Unfortunately, many industry groups have expressed opposition to the plan, claiming that the FCC is attempting to regulate the Internet.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), who co-sponsored legislation that AALL strongly supported in the 110th Congress to ensure net neutrality, yesterday urged Chairman Genachowski to move forward with his plan, stating that, “Congressional stalemate is making a legislative solution look increasingly unlikely in the near term.”

Net neutrality is a priority for AALL because law librarians are providers, creators and users of digital information, and it is up to law libraries to ensure that everyone has equal access to the information they need. We will keep you updated on the status of net neutrality as developments occur.

For background information, please read our Issue Brief. And make sure you’ve subscribed to our Advocacy Listserv, where you’ll receive alerts and updates on net neutrality in our monthly Washington E-Bulletin!

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

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