FCC Launches Effort To Recruit Net Neutrality Deputies

Asking researchers, software developers to come up with apps to protect Internet openness
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The
FCC Wednesday officially launched its open Internet apps challenge.

The FCC on Dec.
21 voted to adopt new network neutrality rules, but will rely on case-by-case
enforcement powered by consumer complaints and its own investigations.

To enlist the
surfing public as deputies on the network neutrality enforcement beat, the
commission is asking researchers and software developers to come up with
apps/analysis that will help consumers "measure and protect" Internet
openness.

"This
challenge is about using the open Internet to protect the open Internet," FCC
Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement Wednesday. For example,
said the commission, the apps might detect whether a provider is
"interfering" with packet headers or content.

The research
element seeks academic papers and analysis of Internet openness measurement.

Submissions,
due Jun. 1, can be either a new app or substantial improvement on an existing
app.

The FCC
concedes there are already some software tools to provide info on network
performance, traffic shaping and application discrimination, but is looking for
"more effective applications" that it hopes will monitor "the
extent to which their fixed or mobile broadband Internet services are
consistent with open Internet principles."

Winners will
present their work to the commission, get feted at a chairman's reception and
winning apps will be available on the FCC's Web site and social media outlets.
The FCC will also cover their travel expenses.

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