Report: FCC may move on net neutrality next month

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The FCC may add net neutrality rules to its December agenda, and could vote on a proposal to regulate Internet traffic as soon as the five-member commission's Dec. 15 meeting, according to multiple reports.

The reports, both in Poltico and the Financial Times and both citing unnamed industry sources, said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski may put forward a proposal that is similar to the bill Rep. Henry Waxman put together on the controversial topic before it failed to gain traction in Congress earlier this fall. Paul Gallant, a Washington-based analyst with MF Global, also said in a note on Friday that the FCC may vote on the rules in December.

The FCC has called all of the reports "speculation" and has not circulated its December agenda yet. However, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the FCC will unveil its agenda late Wednesday. House Republicans oppose net neutrality rules.

Last week, speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Genachowski said the commission will move forward on net neutrality. "That will happen," Genachowski said. "We will make sure that we get the rules right, we need to make sure that what we do maximizes innovation and investment across the ecosystem."

Waxman's draft bill, which was introduced in late September, largely went easy on wireless carriers. According to the draft, wireless Internet providers would not be able to block consumers from accessing lawful Internet websites, subject to reasonable network management. They also would not be able to block "lawful applications that compete with the provider's voice or video communications services in which the provider has an attributable interest, subject to reasonable network management." Further, wireless carriers would have to "disclose accurate and relevant information in plain language regarding the price, performance and network management practices" of service, "sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service and device providers to develop and market new Internet offerings."

For more:
- see this FT article
- see these two separate Policito articles
- see this WSJ blog post (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article

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