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FCC Announces ‘Open Internet’ Apps Challenge

WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission has issued a challenge for the development of “software apps that help consumers foster, measure, and protect Internet openness.” The Open Internet Challenge is part of the commission’s Network Neutrality initiative.

“Our goal is to foster user-developed applications that shine light on any practice that might be inconsistent with the free and open Internet,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said. “Empowering consumers with information about their own connections will promote a vibrant, innovative, world-leading broadband ecosystem.”

Details of the challenge are posted at openinternet.gov/challenge.

Winners will be invited to FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C., to present their work to the commission and be honored with an FCC Chairman’s reception. (We are not making this up.) They’ll have their apps and research featured on the FCC’s website and social media outlets. Authorized travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Submission deadline is June 1, 2011, and a public voting period will run from June 15 through July 15, 2011. The winner of the public vote will receive the People’s Choice Award. Other award category winners will be chosen by a panel of expert judges. All winners will be announced in August 2011.