Net neutrality fan Public Knowledge has launched an online
campaign to encourage Congressional action--but not legislation--on network
In an e-mail to supporters Monday, the group pointed to last
week's official break-down of FCC-brokered negotiations on a legislative
solution and the related news that Google and Verizon had come to a meeting of
the minds on managing network traffic. They called it a "critical
crossroads" at which "some of the largest corporations on the web are
lining up to put an end to the open Internet as we know it."
But Public Knowledge wasn't looking for legislation from Congress.
It asked its members to customize an online form letter to their legislator
saying the FCC needs to step in with the authority Congress has already given
Industry players had been the ones looking for legislation,
arguing it was preferable to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's proposed
"third way" to clarifying the FCC's broadband regulatory authority.
The chairman's proposal is to classify Internet service provision
under some Title II common carrier regs so that it could enforce rules on
network management, access, transparency and nondiscrimination.
That is the route Public Knowledge is backing, saying the FCC
"needs to finish the job it has started to re-establish clear rules of the
road for broadband Internet providers now." That would also include
approving its proposed rulemaking expanding and codifying its network openness
guidelines, which arguably needs the "third way" underpinning if it
wants to pass court muster.
FCC sources continue to look to the FCC's September or October
meeting for the declaratory ruling on the "third way." Since it is a
reclassification and not new rules, it does not require an official rulemaking