Saturday, March 29, 2014

Comments to the New FCC Net Neutrality

The National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) published a document (here) compiling the comments made by a number of organization, operators, content providers and on FCC's new Open Internet docket (see "New Docket Established to Address Open Internet Remand" - here).

Here is what some of the 29 comments:
  • ADTRAN In light of the lack of a demonstrated widespread problem and the observed adverse impact on investment, ADTRAN urges the Commission not simply to seek to re-impose (or even expand) the vacated Open Internet rules. If the Commission nonetheless believes that some protection is necessary, it should seek comment on narrowly-tailored, technology-neutral rules that would only prohibit anti-competitive discrimination or blocking. The Commission is ill equipped to decide what an appropriate business model should be for Internet services. Moreover, Internet Service Providers can ill afford to wait the multiple years it has taken the Commission in the past to adjudicate, on a “common law” basis, the reasonableness of new service offerings.
  • AT&T - Commission must allow ISPs the flexibility to engage in individualized negotiations with edge providers, subject to the proviso that an ISP not engage in commercially unreasonable conduct .. Importantly, allowing ISPs to differentiate among edge providers in commercially reasonable ways would not prevent the Commission from addressing conduct that truly threatens an open Internet, should such conduct occur
  • Netflix - Netflix believes strong net neutrality is critical, but in the near term we will in cases pay the toll to the powerful ISPs to protect our consumer experience. When we do so, we don’t pay for priority access against competitors, just for interconnection. A few weeks ago, we agreed to pay Comcast and our members are now getting a good experience again. Comcast has been an industry leader in supporting weak net neutrality, and we hope they’ll support strong net neutrality as well
  • Verizon - Rather than pursuing an unnecessary and distracting prescriptive regulatory path that will discourage the innovation and investment that is prevalent in all parts of the Internet ecosystem, the Commission should wait to exercise its authority over broadband services as needed on a case-by-case basis to address particular practices that demonstrably harm consumers and competition. In the meantime, the Commission should focus on what it can do to further encourage broadband deployment and development of new services, such as facilitating the transition to IP-based networks and bringing more spectrum to market. Such actions will do far more to benefit consumers than another prolonged struggle over net neutrality rules.
  • Vonage As further discussed below, the Commission, in focusing on rules under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996,1 should consider special rules for broadband access providers that are affiliated with upstream competitors. Rules that prohibit such providers from favoring their own, affiliated content are sufficiently different from a Title II blanket prohibition on discrimination to pass muster under Verizon v. FCC and Section 706. The Commission may also consider a baseline throughput access requirement for access providers. For wireline access, that floor may be higher than the threshold throughput that qualifies an access service as broadband today.

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