FCC chairman backs wireless neutrality

Wireless carriers shouldn't be allowed to block certain types of Internet traffic flowing over their networks, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission chairman said in a speech that drew immediate condemnation from providers.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said wireless carriers should be subject to the same "open Internet" rules that the agency has begun to apply to home broadband providers. But mobile providers have argued that US proposals to ensure that all traffic on the Internet is treated equally should not be applied to wireless traffic. They claim a two-tiered system is essential for the future vitality of the net and that any regulation would damage innovation. But Genachowski told an audience in Washington that the rules were "not about government regulation of the Internet… Ensuring a robust and open Internet is the best thing we can do to promote investment and innovation."

Providers have argued that a two-tiered Internet is essential to effectively manage their networks and condemned the inclusion of wireless traffic in the new policy proposals.