FCC Commits to Pushing Open Internet Standards for Cell Phones

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski plans to continue pushing for rules that impose Net Neutrality standards on Internet service providers, including cell service carriers. Mr. Genachowski's announcement came during a presentation at a CTIA wireless service association convention, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"I believe firmly in the need for the FCC to preserve Internet openness, whether a person accesses the Internet from a desktop computer or a wireless laptop or netbook," Mr. Genachowski said during his presentation.

Mr. Genachowski's enthusiasm for the rule changes appears to be tempered with the understanding that blocking cell carriers from limiting certain types of data traffic -- like VoIP or movie streaming -- could pose network congestion issues. To help counter potential wireless congestion issues, he's hoping to free up additional frequencies for service providers.

He added "What happens when every mobile user has an iPhone, a Palm Pre, a BlackBerry Tour or whatever the next device is?"

Cell carriers aren't, however, overly excited about the FCC's plans. "There is no need to burden the mobile Internet with onerous new regulations," commented ATT's chief executive of wireless services, Ralph de la Vega.

According to Mr. de la Vega, the FCC's actions could have unexpected side effects that impact network services and industry-related jobs.

While the FCC plans on moving forward with its rule changes, Mr. Genachowski acknowledged some details still need to be sorted out. "I also believe the question of how we accomplish that goal, particularly in the wireless context, poses some difficult questions -- questions that remain open and will be considered in the FCC's proceeding," he said.