In an action that FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate described as a “starting point” toward potential future policy on net neutrality, the FCC adopted a notice of inquiry (NOI) that seeks information on broadband network management practices among cable and phone-based operators, evidence of discriminatory practices among such providers, and whether the FCC should expand on four non-binding “principles” outlined in a 2005 policy statement on broadband services. The NOI was launched against the backdrop of pending Senate legislation, introduced in January, that would prohibit network operators from blocking, degrading, or discriminating against Internet traffic. As Tate noted that the issue of net neutrality “has focused too much on the need to define a cure before there has been a disease,” FCC Chairman Martin observed, “it is useful for the Commission to open this proceeding to try to gather the evidence about what is happening in the marketplace . . . and to collect that record in a way that will enable us to have a more informed debate about these issues going forward.” To fulfill that goal, the NOI will seek input on the following issues: (1) how broadband providers manage their networks, (2) whether broadband providers “charge different prices for different speeds or capabilities of service,” (3) whether FCC policy should distinguish between content providers that charge end users for content and those that don’t, (4) how Internet management practices impact consumers, and (5) how “nondiscrimination” should be defined if the FCC decides to add that as a fifth principle on net neutrality. Depending on the results of the NOI, the FCC might decide at a future date to open formal rulemaking proceedings on net neutrality. Although Martin asserted that there is no need for such a rulemaking at this time, Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein voiced support for proceeding immediately to the rulemaking stage. As Adelstein commented that, “given the importance of Internet freedom, I would have preferred a more proactive approach,” Copps lamented: “rather than strike out and unflinchingly proclaim this agency’s commitment to an open and nondiscriminatory Internet, we satisfy ourselves with one tiny, timid step.”