The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski spoke out to set the record straight: The agency's national broadband plan and net neutrality rules are not intended to "regulate the Internet." Or at least they're not intended to regulate content on the Internet.
Instead, the rules are meant to ensure that Internet service providers "treat all legal Internet traffic that flows over their lines equally." Genachowski said:
The communications line piece is something that we have historic responsibility for (in) promoting competition and promoting innovation....No one is spending time working on the broadband plan saying, 'How can we re-regulate?' People are spending their time saying, 'How can we promote investment, how can we promote this infrastructure for global competitiveness...?'
The issues came to the forefront again last month when Comcast and the FCC presented oral arguments to a federal appeals court regarding the agency's authority to enforce net neutrality rules. Since that time, some have suggested the FCC might go back to rules that were in place prior to the Bush Administration, which would give it "more clear authority," according to the WSJ.
Though the National Broadband Plan is slated for release in March, the net neutrality rules will be addressed separately.