The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched the Open Internet Challenge, which calls on software developers to create applications that will help Internet users determine when their Internet service provider (ISP) is interfering with content. The FCC says the apps could help create ways to measure, preserve, and track the openness of the Internet. The apps also could be used to test networks for ISPs and to collect network data for both academics and policymakers, the FCC says.
The launch of the contest comes after the FCC adopted rules last month that prohibit landline ISPs from blocking legal traffic or discriminating against content that uses up large amounts of bandwidth. Meanwhile, wireless Internet carriers would be prevented from blocking access to websites or voice and video applications offered by competitors. "Our goal is to foster user-developed applications that shine light on any practice that might be inconsistent with the free and open Internet," says FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.
The rules are expected to take effect early this year, although the implementation of the rules could be delayed by court challenges.
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