On Monday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski gave a talk in which he voiced support for the idea of 'Net Neutrality,' the idea that network providers must give data from all sources unfettered access to travel across their network infrastructure. The idea is a touchy one in tech circles, with some seeing the issue as one of fairness and free competition, while others framing the question as one of infrastructure management and preserving the health of the network. Supporters of net neutrality provisions argue that, for example, a cable company should not be allowed to slow down data coming from a competing online video service. Opponents of 'neutrality' rules, however, say that such rules would keep them from shaping traffic to prevent transfer-hungry applications such as BitTorrent from using more than its share of available bandwidth. We'll talk with IEEE Spectrum editor Steven Cherry about Genachowski's remarks, and what they might mean for the future of the internet.
Produced by Christopher Intagliata, Associate Senior Producer