Week in review: Keeping the Internet open

The FCC chief has a plan for Net neutrality, while Microsoft works on tablet prototypes. Also: flat-screen TV energy efficiency, or lack thereof.

The Federal Communications Commission's chief has a plan to ensure that people have unfettered access to Internet content and services.

Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed this week that the FCC officially turn its four principles of network openness into regulation and suggested that the FCC add two more "principles" as part of these new rules. The existing principles can be summarized like this: network operators cannot prevent people from accessing lawful Internet content, applications, and services of their choice and cannot prohibit people from attaching nonharmful devices to a network.

The first new, proposed principle would prevent Internet access providers from discriminating against particular Internet content or applications, while allowing for reasonable network management. The second would ensure that Internet access providers are transparent about the network management practices they implement.

The nation's two biggest phone companies, AT&T and Verizon Communications, have accepted the principles outlined by the FCC when it comes to their wired broadband networks. But the regulation that Genachowski is proposing will not apply to just wireline broadband networks, such as DSL and cable modem service. It will also apply to wireless services.

This is where the major phone companies will likely focus their opposition to the FCC's plans for new regulation. Verizon and AT&T, which operate the nation's largest and second-largest cell phone networks, respectively, say the rules should not apply to wireless Internet access. Among the arguments against the rules is that they would be difficult to implement because of capacity constraints on wireless networks.

• Video: Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra talks Net neutrality

More headlines

<b>Courier tablet one of many Microsoft prototypes

The dual-screen prototype is indeed legit, but is just one of many prototypes cooked up as part of a skunkworks project being headed by J. Allard, sources say.
&#149;&nbsp; Microsoft's 'Pink' emerges from Danger's shadow

<b>Facebook confirms site instability

Log-in and content-posting problems on the social-networking site have been confirmed by the company, but no explanation or cause has yet been provided.
&#149;&nbsp; Employers grappling with social network use
&#149;&nbsp; The software that points 'gaydar' at Facebook

<b>California to set TV energy efficiency standards

There are no national energy efficiency standards for power-hungry consumer electronics but California plans to set TV efficiency standards starting in 2011.
&#149;&nbsp;FAQ: Can flat-screen TVs make the efficiency grade?

<b> Another $100 million for Twitter?

Private equity firm T. Rowe Price and VC group Insight Venture Partners are leading the round, which will value the company at around $1 billion, the WSJ reports.
•  Digsby unveils new Twitter features
&#149;&nbsp; Twitter phishing scam spreads via direct messages

<b>USB group says iTunes can block Pre

USB Implementers Forum cautions Palm against using an Apple hardware ID to let its Pre smartphone trick iTunes into granting access.
• Apple OKs first porn star apps for iPhone
• Future of mobile commerce, in a skinny vanilla latte?
• Official Gmail push comes to iPhone, Windows Mobile
• Short video messaging arrives on iPhone
• South Korea welcomes the iPhone

<b>Intel unveils system-on-a-chip for TVs

The CE4100 is designed to bring Internet content and services to digital TVs, DVD players, and advanced set-top boxes.
&#149;&nbsp; Intel's Maloney: Our business is do or die
&#149;&nbsp; Intel shows off Larrabee graphics chip for first time
&#149;&nbsp; Intel to introduce first mobile 'Nehalem' chip
&#149;&nbsp; Intel brings Nehalem to notebooks, makes light of cables

<b> Google plug-in builds Chrome browser into IE

Google Chrome Frame lets Microsoft's IE display pages with Chrome technology. But haven't most disgruntled Web surfers already installed a new browser?
&#149;&nbsp; Microsoft bashes Google's Chrome-in-IE plan

<b>Nintendo drops Wii price to $199

Nintendo officially announces that the game console is getting a $50 price cut as of Sunday.
&#149;&nbsp; Drug cops caught playing Wii during raid

<b> AT&T takes the phone out of iPhone

Unreliable iPhone service prompts CNET's Elinor Mills to make fewer and shorter calls, when she even has service--and apparently she isn't alone.
&#149;&nbsp; AT&T-iPhone calling woes on redial

Also of note
&#149;&nbsp; MySpace, Hulu working on new video service
&#149;&nbsp; Microsoft to open Windows cafe in Paris
&#149;&nbsp; Whitman makes Calif. gubernatorial bid official

 

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