FCC hosts first round table event in series to discuss Net neutrality (updated)

fcc and isps battle over data collection tom wheeler
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it will hold a series of round table events to discuss Net neutrality. The first round table kicked off on September 16, the day after public comments closed.

Updated on 09-16-2014 by Malarie Gokey: The first round table event kicked off on September 16.

The organization stated that these talks are needed to help clarify the issues surrounding the open Internet. The FCC expects to gain a better understanding of the subject, so that it can pass judgement with its eyes wide open. You can watch the first round table event unfold live on the FCC’s website. Viewers can email questions to the participants at roundtables@fcc.gov or tweet with the hashtag #FCCRoundtables.

The first sessions will concern the most basic elements of Net neutrality before delving into more technical matters and the economic repercussions of any actions taken in the future. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will preside over the round tables. Democrats Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel as well as Republicans Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly will be there to discuss the issues.

Related: Net Neutrality is under threat from the FCC: What it is and how we got here (Timeline)

“The Open Internet Roundtable Discussions will provide an opportunity for the Commission staff and interested parties to further examine the actions the Commission should take for its goal of determining the best approach to protecting and promoting Internet openness,” the FCC said in a statement.

“Specifically, the roundtable discussions will focus on public policy considerations and how they should be addressed to protect and promote Internet openness in both the fixed and mobile markets; the technological considerations involved in protecting the open Internet; how the competitive landscape and the economics of providing broadband and online services affects Internet openness; how the Commission can effectively enforce the current and proposed open Internet requirements; and the various legal theories underlying possible Commission actions in this area.”

Related: 4 things 1 million people are telling the FCC about net neutrality

The topics of discussion are as follows:

  • September 16 (a.m.): Policy Approaches to Ensure an Open Internet
  • September 16 (p.m.): Mobile Broadband and the Open Internet
  • September 19 (a.m.): Effective Enforcement of Open Internet Requirements
  • September 19 (p.m.): Technological Aspects of an Open Internet
  • October 2: Economics of Broadband: Market Successes and Market Failures
  • October 7: Internet Openness and the Law

Net neutrality is an extremely hot issue right now. Many of the big tech companies, including Google, Apple, Netflix, and many others have come out in support for policies that protect the open Internet, as have millions of Americans. In fact, the FCC’s website has been so inundated with comments in support of Net neutrality that it has crashed multiple times and been forced to reopen comments on the issue on several occasions.

The round table discussions aim to clear the air and open the debate, so that lawmakers and the FCC can make the best decision on the issue for all the parties involved. All of the conversations will be livestreamed on the FCC’s website, but we will keep you updated on their progress here on Digital Trends.

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