Feeds

Mozilla asks FCC to unleash the nuclear option on net neutrality

Wants internet services placed under Title II to ensure equality of access for all

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Mozilla has filed a formal request to the US Federal Communications Commission asking it to reclassify internet-provision and content-provider's traffic under Title II of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which would ensure the net remains neutral.

The Firefox firm's proposal is twofold. First, it petitions the FCC to reclassify internet traffic as a telecommunications service, meaning it must be provided to all without offering graduated service. Second, Mozilla wants similar protections for relationships between content creators and ISPs, suggesting that this be called remote delivery services and granted the same protections.

"The path we propose is grounded in a modern understanding of technology and markets, and drawn from the perspective of Silicon Valley, where so many of the Internet's inventions have originated," said Mozilla's senior policy engineer Chris Riley in a blog post. "Mozilla's proposal would help ensure that the Internet continues to be an innovative and open platform, central to our individual growth and our collective future."

Internet traffic was designated an information service, rather than a telecommunications service, back in 2002 by the then–FCC head Michael Powell – a man with no direct industry experience, but who happened to be the son of General Colin Powell.

It had been hoped, based on campaign statements, that when President Obama took over the presidency his first pick as FCC boss, Julius Genachowski, would reclassify the internet as a telecommunications service under Title II. But Genachowski bottled it, and instead tried to make net neutrality principles enforceable using the FCC's other regulatory mandates.

This strategy has fallen down in the courts, most notably in January in the case of Verizon verses FCC. The mobile carrier's court win opened the door to throttling, and companies like Netflix have now been forced to enter into pay-for-play deals with ISPs.

The current FCC head Tom Wheeler said last month that he's fine with this, and said that on May 15 the FCC will vote to put in place new rules allowing ISPs and content providers to strike deals so that the latter can pay to make sure their content gets priority over those who can't afford the charges involved.

Wheeler, a former industry lobbyist who is an inductee to the Hall of Fame of both the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) and the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, says that the FCC will protect consumers by ensuring that there is not "unfair discrimination" by ISPs, and has threatened Title II reclassification if ISPs don't play ball.

This has reassured virtually no one so far, and internet advocacy bodies are trying to organize a campaign to get internet services reclassified under Title II, as Mozilla is now requesting. The NoSlowLane.com petition set up on the issue has over 50,000 signatures, and it's likely there is some high-pressure lobbying going on from Google and others.

On November 17, 2007, the then-Senator Obama took a trip to Mountain View for a chat with Chocolate Factory employees as part of the company's regular @Google chinwag sessions.

Back then Obama was the underdog in the Democratic primaries to challenge for the presidency, well behind front-runner Hillary Clinton in the opinion polls. He'd been invited to Google campus as part of the company's Candidates@Google talks, and he was very clear on certain issues.

"We have to ensure free and full exchange of information and that starts with an open internet," he told the audience, which rewarded him with hearty applause.

"I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality, because once providers start to privilege some applications or websites over others, then the smaller voices get squeezed out and we all lose. The internet is perhaps the most open network in history, and we have to keep it that way."

It remains to be seen if he can make that promise a reality. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.