FCC's Clyburn optimistic about net neutrality consensus
Federal Communications Commission member Mignon Clyburn said Thursday she hopes to reach a consensus on a draft proposal for net neutrality rules, but is closely scrutinizing the proposals for wireless networks.
"So, do we have a consensus item in front of us? I think we are pretty close," Clyburn, a Democratic commissioner, said during a Practicing Law Institute's Telecommunications Policy & Regulation Institute Conference in Washington D.C. "But my focus over
the coming days will be to ensure that we are thinking through the implications of the wireless piece of the item. While I recognize that there are distinctions between wired and wireless networks, I think it is essential that our wireless networks—those of the present and future—grow in an open way just as our wired ones have."
Clyburn's comments come amid intense speculation on whether she and Democratic Commissioner Michael J. Copps will give FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski enough votes to pass his proposal on how broadband companies operate their networks. Copps has been skeptical of any rules that don't apply equally to wireless networks and has stressed the need to redefine broadband as a telecommunications service as the agency pursues net neutrality rules. But he has also indicated his desire to work with the other four commissioners on a compromise.
"At the end of the day for me, this is about consumers," Clyburn said. "Their access to an open Internet must be protected, because I believe that currently, there are no clear, enforceable rules."
| December 9, 2010; 1:26 PM ET
Categories: FCC, Net Neutrality
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