Cities Consider Backing Net Neutrality

Posted by: Olga Kharif on December 01, 2009

New York and San Francisco are mulling resolutions backing Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) efforts to enact tough Internet non-discrimination rules.

In New York, for example, Council Member Gale Brewer held a hearing on Nov. 20 calling on Congress to pass Internet non-discrimination principles, called net neutrality, into law. The idea is to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or interfering with certain types of traffic, such as Web-calling service Skype.

While, following regulatory battles of the past several years, service providers like Comcast already largely comply with these net neutrality principles, there are plenty of carriers that don’t. The FCC is currently considering whether to apply net neutrality principles to wireline and wireless service providers, some of which do block certain kinds of traffic. The agency is facing lots of opposition from the industry: Wireless net neutrality could prove to be the biggest regulatory battle to hit Washington in years. And every supporter — such as some of the nation’s largest cities — counts.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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