FCC Chairman Unveils New Broadband Regulation Direction

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Julius Genachowski, the head of the Federal Communications Commission, will unveil a new compromise plan for regulating broadband Internet service providers. The new proposal would allow the service providers to offer tiered rates for different levels of service. The five-member commission will vote on the new tack at a meeting later this month.

In a speech he plans to give Wednesday in Washington, Julius Genachowski, the F.C.C. chairman, will outline a framework for broadband Internet service that forbids both wired and wireless Internet service providers from blocking lawful content.

But the proposal would allow broadband providers to charge consumers different rates for different levels of service, according to a text of the speech provided to The New York Times.

Mr. Genachowski has decided not to use the commission's telephone regulatory powers to govern broadband Internet service, a move that he proposed in May that would potentially open Internet service to heavier government regulation.

His proposal would also allow broadband providers to manage their networks to limit congestion or harmful traffic. The framework will form the basis for a proposed order scheduled to be voted on during the F.C.C.'s Dec. 21 meeting.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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