BOSTON: US media watchdog, the Federal Communications Commission is consulting with interested parties across the nation over the vexed question of net neutrality.

The inquiry's latest stop, at Harvard University, heard calls from advocates of net neutrality for the FCC to take a more active stance towards its regulation.

The concept of net neutrality aims to guarantee that all web traffic is treated equally - an intention that Representative Ed Markey (Democrat, Massachusetts), chairman of the House Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee, believes is being eroded.

He urged the FCC to take a more activist stance on network neutrality. "The Internet is as much mine and yours as much as it is Verizon's and AT&T's or Comcast's," Markey said.

"The key question for safeguarding the internet is recognition that the nature of the net is not the services provided by the carriers themselves. They don't provide internet services, they provide internet access. There's a difference." 

Service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, on the other hand, claim they must be able to manage the traffic on their networks and that self-regulation of their practices is most desirable.

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff