Saturday, November 1, 2014

FCC: The New Net Neutrality is "Hybrid"

After years of failing to established a consumer oriented Net Neutrality, the FCC has a new scheme, recognizing that an Internet connection has two, non-equal, sides - the consumer and the content provider.

Edward Wtatt reports to the New York Times that "The proposal is part of a hybrid solution that has gained favor among theF.C.C. staff over the last two months. Like other possible solutions, it seeks to reestablish the F.C.C.’s authority to enforce net neutrality, the general concept that no Internet traffic should be discriminated against unfairly.

But unlike policies previously considered, which treated the entire Internet ecosystem as a single universe, the hybrid proposal would establish a divide between “wholesale” and “retail” transactions
  • The retail portion, the transaction that sends data through the Internet service provider to the consumer and which allows the consumer to access any legal content on the Internet, would receive a lighter regulatory touch.
  • .. the hybrid approach would apply Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 to the connection between Internet service providers, or I.S.P.s, and content providers. For the purpose of agreeing to transport content from a company like Netflix through its network, an I.S.P. would be treated as a “common carrier,” subject to stricter regulation.In that instance, an I.S.P., as a common carrier, could not give an unfair advantage to one content provider over another. Paid prioritization , where a content provider pays for a fast lane to consumers, would be restricted unless it could be proved to be just and reasonable"
See "F.C.C. Considering Hybrid Regulatory Approach to Net Neutrality" - here.

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