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FCC chairman commits to open Internet rules for mobile firms
|09 октября 2009|
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski told the wireless industry that he intends to proceed with Internet openness rules for cellular carriers, despite some of the "unique congestion issues" posed by mobile Internet, according to his prepared remarks for a convention sponsored by CTIA-The Wireless Association.
"There shouldn't be any confusion. I believe firmly in the need for the FCC to preserve Internet openness, whether a person accesses the Internet from a desktop computer or a wireless laptop or netbook," Genachowski said.
"I also believe the question of how we accomplish that goal, particularly in the wireless context, poses some difficult questions - questions that remain open and will be considered in the FCC's proceeding."
The FCC is slated to vote on the open Internet rule later this month. It will require Internet service providers to keep their networks open to all legal content and prohibit them from slowing competitors' Web traffic.
The FCC welcomes recent announcements from Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. that signal their commitment to open networks, but agency officials say the rulemaking will continue as planned.
On Tuesday, Verizon announced a new venture with Google Inc. to create a market of phones using Google's open source Android operating system. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC.
AT&T, for its part, said Tuesday that it will allow Internet-based phone calls on its 3G network.
Genachowski had a solid bit of good news for wireless carriers. He said the FCC will soon act on a proposal to impose a "shot clock" timetable for companies seeking permission to build cellular towers in local communities.
CTIA has been urging the FCC to act on the tower-siting proposal for years, saying dragged out negotiations with local communities on cell towers harms providers' ability to improve their networks.