FCC Launches ‘Open Internet Challenge’

The Federal Communications Commission is marketing net neutrality with what it’s calling the Open Internet Challenge.

The challenge is designed to encourage the development of software tools that provide consumers with real-time data about their fixed or mobile broadband Internet connection.

Though the FCC passed a set of net neutrality rules in December, it will be up to the consumer to file complaints about Internet services that block or discriminate against certain lawful content. Thus, the “challenge” to provide consumers with the tools to police their own Internet services.

There are two entry categories: apps and research. Winners of the challenge will be invited to FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C., to present their work to the commission and be honored with an FCC chairman’s reception. Winners also get their apps and research featured on the FCC’s Web site and social media outlets.

“This challenge is about using the open Internet to protect the open Internet,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

The deadline for submissions is June 1. Winners will be announced in August.