Federal regulators took an important step on October 22 toward prohibiting broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against certain kinds of Internet traffic.
Despite the concerns of the telecommunications industry giants and the agency’s two Republicans, the Federal Communications Commission voted to begin writing so-called “network neutrality” regulations to prevent phone and cable companies from abusing their control over the market for broadband access.
said regulations are needed to ensure that broadband subscribers can access all legal Web sites and services, including Internet calling applications and video sites that compete with the core businesses of the broadband companies.
Declaring access to the Internet to be like “running water or a light bulb,” Genachowski declared recently that it should be regulated. Specifically, the plan is to codify four Bush-era principles for Internet firms, while adding two more. The first four principles state that consumers are “entitled” to run applications, connect to devices, and access content of their choice, as well as enjoy a choice of providers. Genachowski would add to these a ban on discriminating among any content or applications, and a mandate that service providers publicly reveal their.
Many feel these actions would ultimately play havoc with effort to manage congestion on the Internet. Last year, for example,’s efforts to deter on peer-to-peer networks from slowing their download rates was declared illegal by the .
Verizon Chief Executive Officer Ivan Seidenberg blasted network neutrality regulations on October 21, stating any such regulations were “a mistake, pure and simple — an analog idea in a digital universe.”
Seidenberg argues that rules preventing broadband providers from discriminating against certain content types or sources – which have been proposed by the FCC and supported by Internet-centric companies such as Facebook – would choke innovation and clash with the FCC’s drive to promote broadband deployment investment.and
“If we can’t differentiate between packets, we can’t prioritize emergency communications for first responders, telesurgery or heart-monitor readings for digital medicine or videoconferencing over spam for telecommuters,” Seidenberg stated.
At Cory, we are watching all of this with great concern and scrutiny.
Tightening the leash on – is an obvious determinant to business efficiency.– making it even more difficult to manage constantly
The net result — a slower and more congested Internet, with more frustration for business owners.
Even worse, investment in expanding the Internet will be chilled, as FCC control of network management makes investment less inviting. The amounts at stake are far from trivial – with tens of billions invested each year in Internet expansion.
With Democrats in charge in Washington, supporters of the “net neutrality” rules seem poised to finally push through requirements that high-speed Internet providers give equal treatment to all data flowing over their networks.
At its core, these rules are intended to guarantee that Internet users can go to any Web site and access any online service they want. Phone and cable companies would not, for instance, be able to block subscribers from using cheaper Internet calling services or accessing online video sites that compete with their core businesses.
Broadband providers, such as AT&T;, Verizon and Comcast argue that after pouring billions of dollars into their networks, they should be able to operate those networks as they see fit – including offering premium services over their lines to differentiate themselves from competitors and earn a healthy return on their investments.
Cory’s clients can be assured that our team is watching developments of the “net neutrality” proposal closely and will continue to place the best interests of Cory clients at the forefront under any and all circumstances.
Please call us ator send an email to with any views or concerns.