Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski took to the FCC blog to defend his net neutrality proposals, writing that an open Internet is vital for the United States’ economic well-being, especially job creation.
Small businesses and start-ups have accounted for the creation of 22 million jobs over the past 15 years, Genachowski wrote, in part because these companies have harnessed the power of the Internet to spur innovation.
“Broadband has played a central part,” he added, “enabling small business to lower their costs and reach new customers in new markets around the country and, indeed, the globe.”
The “spectacular growth” of such firms as eBay, Facebook and Netflix is powered by a core value, he said: “Restrictions on freedom shackle the human spirit, and constrain the promise of bold, new ventures.”
And, Genachowski suggested that without his recent proposal to enshrine the concept of net neutrality–the concept that all Internet traffic be treated equally–the Internet environment that allowed innovation to flower might be at risk.
“This is not just a plan to protect a free and open Internet — this is a plan to protect jobs, now and in America’s future,” he wrote. “It is my responsibility to make sure that the economic and legal environment that allowed these jobs to grow remains just as healthy and competitive for future generations.”
However, even with his soaring rhetoric of freedom and openness, there is at least one influential person unlikely to convert to his cause: FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, who has staunchly opposed the chairman’s proposal.
Yesterday, she called for Genachowski to fully release the draft proposal to allow for public comment, according to a report in Broadcasting & Cable.
“The comment cycle can be short,” she said, “but putting some sunshine on what we are doing would inform our process.”