Mozilla Issues Proposal for Protecting Net Neutrality
For as long as the commercial web has been part of our lives, debates over Net neutrality have been with us as well. We got a reminder of this back in January, when a federal Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order that prevented Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking and discriminating against edge providers, including any website operator, application developer or cloud service provider.
At the time, Mozilla called the court’s ruling “alarming for all Internet users.” In fact, Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker and then-CEO John Lilly put it this way in 2009: “Nondiscriminatory access to content is what created the miracle of the Internet. It must be preserved.” Now, Mozilla has posted its latest stance on open Internet policy, and it's worth taking note of.
According to Mozilla's post:
"Mozilla [has] formally filed a request with the FCC to take a new path forward. We are asking the FCC to modernize its understanding of Internet access services, and apply its statutory authority for Internet data delivery services in a consistent and complete way. With our proposal, the FCC would be able to shift its attention away from authority questions once and for all, and focus instead on adopting clear rules prohibiting blocking and discrimination online."
"The FCC is currently planning to propose new rules that would allow ISPs to charge edge providers for prioritized access over others. Open Internet advocates and media have been very critical of the agency’s strategy. We, too, are concerned that the FCC’s approach would not adequately safeguard the open Internet. Innovation and competition require nondiscriminatory access for all edge providers to end user subscribers, without blocking, throttling, or prioritizing one option relative to others."
Essentially, Mozilla proposes that broadband lines should be regulated under rules written for phone networks. "Categorizing remote delivery services as telecommunications services is consistent with the guidelines set by both Congress and the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and would give the FCC ample ability to adopt and enforce meaningful net neutrality," the company is arguing.
And, Mozilla is taking its position to lawmakers. It has issued a public call for help in opposing prioritized Net policies and asked its audience to stay tuned to a Wiki page about this issue to find ways to get involved.