The FCC's Push for Network Neutrality

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					                                                                                                                                                                   InformationToday            15
                                                                                                                                                              March 2010

       Focus on Publishing

The Scholarly Publishing Roundtable
by ROBIN PEEK   |                                 and the OSTP. The findings                            ganizations and to maintain
                                                  from the SPR were publicly re-                        confidentiality of their delib-

      n January, discussions revolved             leased on the OSTP blog on                            erations to promote open and
      around two important events con-            Jan. 22.                                              candid exchange.
      cerning the fate of an open access                                                                    What was refreshing is that
(OA) policy for publicly funded research.         An Open and                                           the SPR encouraged a position
   First, in December 2009, the U.S. Of-                                                                that it was time to move be-
fice of Science and Technology Policy             Candid Exchange                                       yond “the too-often acrimonious”
(OSTP) launched a public blog to garner               The members of the SPR                            debate over OA issues and to
feedback on the development of extend-            included people “from aca-              Robin Peek    develop “an interdependent sys-
ing the policy established for the Na-            demic administration (three                           tem of scholarly publishing that
tional Institutes of Health (NIH) to other        provosts and an association executive) expands public access and enhances the
federal agencies. The blog’s orignal dead-        and from academic libraries (three li- broad, intelligent use of the results of
line to collect this feedback was Jan. 7,         brarians), publishers of scientific jour- federally-funded research.” Two of the
but that was extended to Jan. 21. The             nals (two from learned societies, one from SPR members did not sign the final re-            rently limited access to federally funded
discussion on the blog, while not a reve-         an established commercial house offer- port: Elsevier’s Youngsuk “Y.S.” Chi, vice            research, but stops far short of recogniz-
lation to longtime followers of the OA            ing a range of business models, and one chairman and managing director of global             ing and endorsing the opportunities to
knowledge debate, was still refreshing.           from an innovative and successful open academic and customer relations, called               unleash the full potential of online com-
The final report, which will be released          access start-up), and three researchers into question, “an overly expansive role             munication to transform access to and use
later this year, is probably going to rely        in the domains of library and information of government,” and the Public Library             of scholarly literature.”
more heavily on the Scholarly Publish-            science.” According to the SPR report, of Science (PLoS)’s Mark Patterson, direc-
ing Roundtable (SPR), which was con-              members were asked to participate as tor of publishing. In a written statement,
vened last summer by the U.S. House               knowledgeable individuals rather than Patterson notes that the recommenda-
Committee on Science and Technology               as representatives of their respective or- tions “will significantly improve the cur-                           (continued on page 16)

       Internet Waves                                                                                  Legal Issues

Amateur Hour in The FCC’s Push
the Social Space for Network Neutrality
by SHIRLEY DUGLIN KENNEDY     |                   these days, which is one reason why social     by GEORGE H. PIKE   |                         Let’s Talk
                                                  media sites are so compelling. I’ve loved
                                                                                                                                               About Discrimination

    If someone approached me even five            RSS for a long time, and I still use it reg-         started using email in the late 1980s
years ago and explained that one day in           ularly. But these days, I find myself check-         on a 2400-baud modem. By the early         Those same enhancements also al-
the near future I would be filtering, col-        ing Twitter more often, while most of my             1990s, I had Mosaic on my desktop       low bandwidth providers to allocate and
lecting and sharing content for thousands         RSS feeds languish to the point where I        computer and a 14.4 modem, and then I         potentially discriminate against users
of perfect strangers to read—and doing it         am forced to declare “RSS bankruptcy”          really was hooked and upgraded to Net-        and types of uses. Whether they should
for free—I would have responded with a            (to mark everything as “read” and let it       scape and a 56K modem by the mid-1990s.       be allowed to do so is at the center of
pretty perplexed look. Yet today I can’t          all start to accumulate again).                                        By the time the       the ongoing Net Neutrality debate, an
imagine living in a world where I don’t                                                                               21st century rolled      issue at the core of a broader debate
filter, collect and share.                                                                                            around, I was using      about the role of government in regulat-
                                                  What’s in a Tweet?                                                  a T1 line at my office   ing the internet.
            —Nick Bilton,
                                                      But Twitter, in particular, is a service                        and was moving to           Congress has been debating internet
        Bits blog (http://bits.blogs.nytimes
                                                  people tend not to like very much when                              cable-based broad-       regulation for years. However, in recent
                                                  they first begin using it. They bring a cer-                        band at home. Now        months, the Federal Communications
Description: Although technology enhancements have made more bandwidth available through wired and wireless environments, bandwidth is not an infinite resource. Those same enhancements also allow bandwidth providers to allocate and potentially discriminate against users and types of uses. Congress has been debating Internet regulation for years. However, in recent months, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stepped to the front of the specific debate on Net Neutrality. The 107-page notice begins with a broad discussion of the history of Internet development and its corresponding history of technological challenges. It also identifies four Internet principles that have guided the FCC's interpretation of its responsibilities for Internet development.
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