Today, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced at the Brookings Institute the Commission's plan to expand Net Neutrality principles. We at Future of Music Coalition have long supported efforts to protect the open internet, so we think this a positive step. When FMC launched the Rock the Net campaign back in 2007, it was with a strong conviction that Net Neutrality is key to giving all artists -- superstars and developing acts alike -- equal footing on the most important technological platform of our time. We're also delighted that Chairman Genachowski will be delivering a keynote address at the 2009 Future of Music Policy Summit (Oct. 4-6, Georgetown University, Washington, DC).
In his speech at Brookings, Genachowski said the FCC would add two new Net Neutrality principles to its existing four, which were originally adopted in 2005. According to the Chairman, "the first would prevent Internet access providers from discriminating against particular Internet content or applications, while allowing for reasonable network management." This would prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from slowing traffic for competing services, which is crucial to a competitive internet marketplace.
"The second principle would ensure that Internet access providers are transparent about the network management practices they implement," Genachowski said. This would help prevent confusion in the marketplace, and give consumers a better understanding of what they're signing up for.
Lastly, Genachowski said that all six principles would "apply to all platforms that access the Internet. "This apparently means the wireless space, too, where smartphones are currently serving up must-have music applications like Pandora and Spotify. Lately, there's been a lot of talk about how certain manufacturers and carriers (like Apple's iPhone and its telecom partner AT&T) have not allowed third-party apps like Google Voice on their platforms. Will these new principles put an end to app-based "discrimination" in the mobile space?
Next up is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the two new principles, during which the public will be invited to comment. After that comes the policy itself (it's quite a process, we know).
FMC is honored to have worked alongside some amazing artists and labels to help raise awareness about the importance of Net Neutrality for musicians. In 2008, we teamed up with Thirsty Ear Recordings for the Rock the Net: Musicians for Net Neutrality CD, which features A-list artists like Wilco, Aimee Mann, They Might Be Giants, Bright Eyes, The Wrens, Portastatic, DJ Spooky, Guster and more. The album is available at quality record stores and online retailers like iTunes, Amazon, the Amazon MP3 store and eMusic.
If you wanna learn more about how public policy -- from radio to the web -- impacts the lives and careers of musicians, you won't want to miss the 2009 Future of Music Policy Summit. And the conversation isn't just one-way, either: the conference is an incredible opportunity to make your voice heard on the issues that matter. Space is filling up fast -- head to our Policy Summit page to reserve your spot now!