FCC Names Members to Net Neutrality Panel

By Josh Long Comments

The Federal Communications Commission has named the members of an advisory committee responsible for analyzing controversial rules and making recommendations designed to preserve the openness of the Internet.

Led by Harvard Law School Professor Jonathan Zittrain, the Open Internet Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from a broad range of interests. Zittrain's right-hand man, or vice chair, is another brainiac, David Clark, senior research scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

Other members hail from companies and organizations as varied as AT&T, The Walt Disney Company, the Center for Democracy and Technology and Union Square Ventures.

The FCC's Open Internet Order, or so-called Net neutrality rules, went into effect last November, placing certain requirements on fixed and mobile broadband providers like Comcast Corp. and Verizon Wireless. The rules were developed at least partially in response to fears that broadband providers might discriminate on their networks and block or limit access to certain lawful Internet content. The rules face court challenges in Washington, D.C., and ultimately could be overturned.

The federal advisory committee will zero in on the specific rules contained in that order.

"The OIAC will observe market developments regarding the freedom and openness of the Internet and will focus in particular on issues addressed in the FCC's Internet rules, such as transparency, reasonable network management practices, differences in treatment of fixed and mobile broadband services, specialized services, and technical standards," the FCC said in a public notice.

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