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Berkman Director Jonathan Zittrain appointed Chair of the FCC's Open Internet Advisory Committee

May 31, 2012

Congratulations to Berkman Center Director Jonathan Zittrain, who was appointed Chair of the FCC's Open Internet Advisory Committee (OIAC) this past week. From the FCC:

The OIAC is a Federal Advisory Committee. Called for by the Commission in the Open Internet Order, its mission is to track and evaluate the effects of the FCC’s Open Internet rules, and to provide any recommendations it deems appropriate to the FCC regarding policies and practices related to preserving the open Internet. The OIAC will observe market developments regarding the freedom and openness of the Internet and will focus in particular on issues addressed in the FCC’s Open Internet rules, such as transparency, reasonable network management practices, differences in treatment of fixed and mobile broadband services, specialized services, and technical standards.

Since the Open Internet Order was adopted in 2010, the broadband economy has flourished. In 2011, investment in wired and wireless network infrastructure rose 24 percent. The United States now leads the world in 4G wireless service adoption.4 There has been a dramatic increase over the past few years in the deployment of fixed broadband networks capable of very high speeds—100 Mbps—from being available in less than 20 percent of U.S. homes in 2009 to approximately 80 percent today. In 2011, Internet-specific companies attracted nearly $7 billion in venture capital funding, a 68 percent increase in dollars and 24 percent increase in deals from 2010. The “app economy” that has grown around applications for Internet-based smart phones and other wireless devices has also thrived. This market barely existed in 2009, yet it now accounts for nearly half a million U.S. jobs. The OIAC will track these trends in our broadband economy and make recommendations for how the FCC’s policies and practices can best support this tremendous innovation and growth.

Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School, Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Co- Founder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, will serve as Chair of the OIAC. David Clark, Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, will serve as Vice Chair. Henning Schulzrinne, Chief Technologist of the FCC, and Daniel Kirschner, Counselor to the General Counsel, will work with the OIAC Chair and Vice Chair in developing the work program. Daniel Kirschner will serve as Designated Federal Officer; Deborah Broderson, Legal Advisor, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, will also serve as liaison to the OIAC.

The full announcement from the FCC can be found here (PDF), and includes a complete list of members of the OIAC, which draws from "community organizations, equipment manufacturers, content and application providers, venture capital firms, startups, Internet service providers, and Internet governance organizations, as well as professors in law, computer science, and economics."

Last updated May 31, 2012

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