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Internet companies lobby FCC for open Internet

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:21pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

A group of over two dozen of the largest Internet companies, including eBay, Netflix and Facebook, are urging the FCC to refrain from Net Neutrality policies that would create so-called slow lanes and fast lanes. The companies also argued that the Commission treat fixed and wireless broadband providers in the same manner.  

Speaking as part of the Internet Association, the companies asserted that an "open and decentralized model is precisely what enabled the Internet to become one of the greatest engines for growth, prosperity and progress the world has ever known." 

The Assocation did not discriminate between wireline and wireless networks, saying that all networks should have equal protection. 

"No matter how users choose to connect to the Internet, net neutrality rules should apply universally on both wireless and wireline networks," the Association said in a statement. 

The companies said that mobile broadband had matured since rules were made in 2010 that made a distinction between fixed and wireless service.  

"The Commission should apply uniform non-discrimination, no-blocking, and transparency rules to wireline and wireless Internet access providers," the Association argued in a filing with the FCC. "There is no further reason to differentiate between the two platforms in applying the rules."

The filing goes on to argue that to the extent wireless networks are constrained by bandwidth, the Commission’s existing exception for reasonable network management provides sufficient flexibility. 

"The crucial difference between wired and wireless access for this issue is how providers manage their networks. The same fundamental principles and rules, however, need to apply to both wireline and wireless access," the Association stated. 

The companies also argued that Internet users should be able to get what they want, when they want it over their broadband connection and that users should get the bandwidth they are paying for regardless of what content they wish to access. 

The comments come as part of the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on its proposed rules that were advanced back in May

The most recent proposal leaves all options on the table. The FCC is asking for comment on the possible reclassification of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that would essentially treat them as public utilities. The FCC also wants to hear from the public and industry about the wisdom of allowing ISPs to craft deals that would give preferential treatment to content providers that paid for it. 

 

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