NET NEUTRALITY…. Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, brought some hope to a whole lot of consumers today, while annoying telecoms, articulating an ambitious vision for the future of the Internet.

In a speech at the Brookings Institution in D.C., Genachowski presented a series of open-access principles, emphasizing, among other things, net neutrality. There was an accompanying blog post highlighting what Genachowski has in mind.

All the right people sound delighted.

The fight for Net Neutrality took a big step forward on Monday with the chair of the Federal Communications Commission announcing plans to expand the rules to protect a free and open Internet.

In a speech at the Brookings Institution, Julius Genachowski said the FCC must be a “smart cop on the beat” preserving Net Neutrality against increased efforts by providers to block services and applications over both wired and wireless connections.

Genachowski’s speech comes as a breath of fresh air in a Washington policy environment that has long stagnated under the influence of a powerful phone and cable lobby.

“If we wait too long to preserve a free and open Internet, it will be too late,” Genachowski said citing a number of recent examples where network providers have acted as gatekeepers.

Speaker Pelosi sounds thrilled, as does Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the co-author of net neutrality legislation.

Atrios added, “Elections have consequences, and one consequence is hopefully better rulemaking and regulatory oversight by the various agencies. Moving towards codifying net neutrality principles is good news.” Publius added, “It’s a good day for the Internets. Rejoice and be glad.”

The usual suspects are already complaining about the dreaded Obama administration wanting “government regulation of the Internet” — that the government helped create the Internet is a point often lost on conservatives — which I find oddly reassuring. Genachowski has already challenged the talking point: “This is not about government regulation of the Internet. It’s about fair rules of the road for companies that control access to the Internet.”

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.