International Agreement on Net Neutrality
Last week, a coalition of consumer and public-interest groups in the U.S. and Europe presented a resolution to U.S. government representatives that called for policies to promote net neutrality on the Internet.
The Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue [TACD] has some 65 members, including the ACLU, Public Knowledge, the European Public Health Alliance and the European Consumers Organization.
In order to ensure that ISPs and communications networks do not unfairly limit the applications and information available to consumers, TACD calls for policies that will promote net neutrality. The TACD resolution defines it as "a state in which users have the freedom to access the content, services, applications, and devices of their choice."
The resolution continues by stating that in a neutral Internet, consumers:
- have the right to attach devices of their choice;
- Have the right to access or provide content, services, and applications of their choice; and
- Have the right for their access to be free from discrimination according to source, destination, content, or type of application.
Simultaneously, in a neutral Internet, ISPs and communications networks:
- Do not unfairly block content, applications or devices;
- Do not deliberately degrade access for content, applications, or devices;
- Do not prioritize data according to its source or destination; and
- Do not discriminate against particular providers of content, applications, services, or devices.
The presentation of the resolution comes before a second FCC hearing on net neutrality, to be held on April 17, 2008 at Stanford University, beginning at 12 noon. The resolution makes 7 specific recommendations for regulators and ISPs to implement in favor of a neutral Internet. But many voices are needed to make the FCC (and Congress) listen. Please come to the hearing at Stanford on April 17th and participate in the public comments; if you can't, please consider submitting comments online here. Filing instructions are here. Please reference docket numbers 07-52 and 08-7 when submitting your comments.