Genachowski: FCC inherited a "real mess" in network neutrality

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A Q&A with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski.

The chairman danced around the most prominent item on his agenda, the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T. He also discussed spectrum re-allocation, his pragmatic approach, and what it was like being a law school classmate of President Obama.

On network neutrality he says, "[W]hen I was confirmed, we inherited a real mess around net neutrality. The agency had been enforcing net neutrality principles, but without ever adopting them as formal rules, and without any clarity on what the rules actually were. And it was a mess. Companies in any part of the broadband economy didn't have certainty. The rules in fact were a mess and were subsequently struck down by a court. I wanted to make sure that we had a framework to preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet that has led to the incredible innovation that we've seen, that's empowered both businesses and speakers in the way that we all know for the last period of time, and that also encouraged the massive amount of investment we need in the infrastructure to have high speed broadband. And we ran quite a long process, 14 months, from notice of proposed rulemaking to decision. In December we adopted a framework, open Internet rules on the books. You can read them -- a little more than a page -- that lay out basic protections for Internet freedom and openness, and that bring certainty and predictability to an area that was a mess. So, the core issues are, from an FCC perspective, behind us. We've moved forward onto other issues. Basic protections for Internet freedom and openness are now in place."


Genachowski: FCC inherited a "real mess" in network neutrality