The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a new chief technology officer, which is great news for everyone who hopes to see net neutrality rules imposed on US Internet providers.Scott Jordan, the new appointed CTO is a professor of computer science at the University of California at Irvine. He’ll be replacing Henning Schulzrinne who is the future chairman of the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University. He’s been with the FCC since 2011 and will continue on as advisor.
“Scott’s engineering and technical expertise, particularly with respect to the Internet, will provide great assistance to the Commission as we consider decisions that will affect America’s communications platforms,” said Tom Wheeler.
The Washington Post reports that Jordan’s expertise is exactly what the FCC needs now since it overlays with many of the issues the commission has to analyze. He’s worked on communications platforms, pricing, and differentiated services on the Internet, as well as on the integration of voice, data and video on the Internet and on wireless networks. Basically, he’s helped create the modern Internet.
Jordan has also made his opinion quite clear on the topic of net neutrality back when the FCC was receiving comments from people. In the file, he explains that neither an extreme pro view, nor con net neutrality positions are consistent with the philosophy of Internet architecture. He added that the entire scandal was the result of a faulty communications policy that could’t match perfectly with technology convergence.
While Jordan won’t take on the new job for a few more weeks, the FCC hints that he’ll still be a part of the debate regarding the open Internet, where comments are due by September 15. Additional public roundtables are to be organized in the next few weeks.
The Net neutrality topic is a rather sensitive one and the debates have been going on for months. It all started when the court ruled that the FCC doesn’t have the legal powers to impose net neutrality rules to Internet service providers.
Tom Wheeler, the FCC chief came up with a plan that would allow ISPs to create a so-called Internet fast lane for which data hogs such as Netflix and YouTube could pay so that the ISPs customers could enjoy the services at proper speeds.
Such lanes aren’t actually possible to accomplish since they involve no network upgrades, but rather depend on slowing down everyone else’s Internet speeds.
Following hundreds of thousands of comments from people all over the United States, it seems quite unlikely that the FCC will go forward with this plan. The alternative is to change the ISPs legal status to common carriers, which puts them right under the FCC’s line of influence.