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What You Need to Know About the FCC’s Open Web Plan

Color of Change - Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski let the world hear about his long-awaited net neutrality plan on Wednesday. The proposal is an attempt to formalize net neutrality, a long-held informal principle that anyone should be able to access anything on the Internet without prohibitive costs or outside interference. While the actual proposal still hadn’t been made public as of Friday morning, Genachowski laid his plans out in a speech on Capitol Hill late Wednesday. The chairman said the effort builds on a controversial attempt by Rep. Henry Waxman to deal with the issue earlier this fall that was later abandoned. But while big telecom companies applaud Genachowski’s plan, longtime advocates of net neutrality aren’t nearly as satisfied.

What are they so upset about? They charge that Genachowski has sold Internet users short on promises both he and President Obama made when they took office.

Josh Silver, who’s president of advocacy group Free Press, penned an editorial in the Huffington Post Wednesday calling the proposal a fake. That was pretty mild, considering the reaction of Marvin Ammori, visiting scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet & Society, who called the proposal “garbage.” “Julius Genachowski has a reputation in D.C. of being a ‘tepid’ regulator,” Ammori wrote on the Huffington Post. “He’s living up to that reputation.” And James Rucker, executive director of Color of Change, used news of the proposal to take aim at black lawmakers whom he claims are beholden to the interests of big telecom companies more than their constituents. Read more.


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