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FCC net neutrality board to be chaired by Harvard internet law professor

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The FCC has announced a member list for the Open Internet Advisory Committee, which will evaluate and issue recommendations for the US network neutrality framework.

Cable ethernet
Cable ethernet

Since the Federal Communications Commission developed its Open Internet network neutrality framework, it's been dealing both with companies that skirt its regulations and advocates who claim it hasn't gone far enough. In order to evaluate the framework's effectiveness, a federal advisory committee was formed, and FCC chair Julius Genachowski has now announced who will participate in it. The Open Internet Advisory Committee will be chaired by Jonathan Zittrain, a Harvard internet law professor also known for writing The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It, which warned of tethered devices and closed networks that could only be modified by the companies that ran them. David Clark, an MIT computer science researcher, will serve as the vice chair.

While both Zittrain and Clark are academics known for their works in favor of network neutrality, the full committee includes 21 members from Netflix, Disney, Mozilla, Comcast, Cisco, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and several other universities and public interest groups. Both Netflix and Comcast have figured heavily in recent debates: Comcast's selective lifting of data caps for its own Xfinity app has drawn criticism from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. However, although rival AT&T is represented, net neutrality critic Verizon is notably absent from the group. The OIAC won't be able to do more than offer recommendations, but the FCC has assembled a sizable and high-profile team.