The FCC could be about to add a toll lane to the information superhighway for those willing to pay a fee to cut through the traffic. Multiple reports, started by a piece in the Wall Street Journal, indicate that the feds are hammering out the details of new rules that would let companies with the resources to do so pay ISPs a little--or a lot--extra to go faster on unclogged broadband networks.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler plans to circulate a draft proposal on new net neutrality regulations that could allow broadband providers to give preferential treatment to traffic from some content providers who pay for the privilege on "commercially reasonable terms." However, the new proposal would not apply to wireless carriers, according to an FCC official familiar with the proposal.
Netflix has stepped up the argument in favour of 'strong net neutrality', even as it negotiates connectivy deals with ISPs on both sides of the Atlantic to ensure decent services for its end-users. It's a war of words that will continue, and there is clearly a great deal at stake for both sides. However, beyond the commercial bun fights over who should pay and how, much more needs to be clarified; the devil with net neutrality is in the detail.
Netflix executives have come out of the shadows and admitted they oppose the idea of Comcast acquiring Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion because the combined company would control too much of the nation's high-speed broadband capacity.
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- During an ACA Summit session here Wednesday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler downplayed the Commission's recent decision to prohibit broadcasters from coordinating on retransmission-consent deals, calling the move to level the negotiating sessions between broadcasters and pay TV distributors "self evident."
Telecom industry associations said the European Union will restrict innovation and consumer choice if it approves net neutrality in a vote on Thursday.
AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega waded into the fraught debate over whether Netflix should be forced to pay to interconnect its video traffic to subscribers. Speaking at the Rutberg Global Summit, de la Vega said that video is driving exponential traffic growth. "We have to provide additional capacity," he said. "The only question is who pays for that addition?"
Cogent Communications CEO Dave Schaeffer has extended an olive branch of sorts to broadband service providers at loggerheads with the backbone provider over traffic costs.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' blog post supporting stronger net neutrality and chiding broadband ISPs brought forth a response from AT&T's Jim Cicconi, senior vice president of external and legislative affairs for AT&T, who called Hastings "arrogant" for suggesting "everyone else should pay but Netflix."
In what could be a new twist on the old net neutrality conundrum--or perhaps positioning for better government treatment of its proposed Time Warner Cable acquisition--Comcast is reportedly in talks to give Apple TV set-top boxes special treatment on its broadband networks.