FCC Commissioner Talks of FCC's Governance of Internet's 'On/Off Ramps'

By Nicholas Ballasy | June 13, 2011 | 7:36 AM EDT

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn (FCC photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, an Obama appointee, told CNSNews.com that the FCC does not want to regulate Internet content but it does want to regulate the Internet's “on/off ramps.”

At the National Association of Broadcasters Service Awards on Monday, CNSNews.com asked Clyburn to what extent the federal government should regulate the Internet.

“When we talk about the Internet and the interaction, we are strictly talking about what we call the on/off ramps,” she said. “We are not talking about content. So we are insuring, what we are attempting to do at the FCC is ensure that every person has an equal engagement, that every single individual when they pay their money or when they sign on line, that they have an equal engagement.

“So, again,” said Clyburn, “we are not talking about content, we’re talking about the on/off ramp and the consumer experience.”

“I mean speed,” she said, “knowing exactly what you pay for, if you pay for it, making sure you get what you pay for. Ensuring that if you have a comparable product that you are treated the same way in which someone else is treated--even if there is an interest with the provider. So what we’re talking about is on parity. That’s the best word I can say.”

She reiterated that she is talking about the FCC regulating access to the Internet through regulating the “on/off ramps” not regulating the content.

Internet users, she said, should have “engagement that is equal. Engagement that is transparent. So when we talk about the Internet and our governance of it, again, we’re talking about the on/off ramps. So no one should be worried about content regulation. That is not what we are speaking about.”