One year later, FCC chairman’s vision for net neutrality is stalled

A year ago in a major speech at the Brookings Institution, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski declared that without the fundamental protection of net neutrality, “we could see the Internet’s doors shut to entrepreneurs, the spirit of innovation stifled, a full and free flow of information compromised.”

In the year since the speech, the FCC has made little progress on enacting clear rules to ensure consumers retain access to whichever Internet service provider they choose. Instead, it is continuing to solicit input on questions that have already been asked and answered. As Genachowski warned last September: “If we wait too long to preserve a free and open Internet, it will be too late.”

Net neutrality was one of President Obama’s major campaign promises. It now appears bogged down in red tape, due to intense lobbying efforts from large Internet service providers.

"We’re still waiting,” said Josh Silver, president of Free Press, a digital advocacy group. “It’s clear from his own statements that the FCC chairman knows what meaningful rules look should like, but so far he hasn’t taken the actions needed to achieve his worthy vision.”

Silver said it’s time for the FCC chairman to stop dithering. He said that means, first, restoring the FCC’s authority to protect Internet users. Then the FCC must enact net neutrality rules that safeguard the open Internet for all users, no matter how they get online.