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[ NNSquad ] Comments by American Consumer Institute

Worth reading -- the American Consumer Institute has filed some excellent comments with the FCC outlining the various positions on "Network Neutrality."

Network Management Facts and the Tragedy of the Commons American Consumer Institute "ConsumerGram"

The debate over elements of the Net Neutrality (NN) policy platform promoted by a handful of advocacy groups is now focused on what techniques, if any, Internet service providers (ISPs) should be permitted to use for the purpose of managing congestion over their private networks. This ConsumerGram provides a set of facts on which there seems to be no reasonable basis for disagreement, shows how these facts are important in resolving the network management debate, reviews the main elements of the positions of the contending parties, and offers a consumer welfare perspective on the issues and their possible resolution. This ConsumerGram shows that, ignoring the facts on net management can lead to the wrong conclusions and policies that ultimately reduce economic benefits for the vast majority of online consumers.

Issues to Be Resolved

A coalition of advocates united by concerns about threats they perceive to NN recently petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to find unlawful Comcast's interference with selected peer-to-peer (P2P) Internet traffic. The interference involved applications enabled by P2P protocol that permit users to exchange large files including high resolution movies and other bandwidth intensive content, but requires so much bandwidth that it can slow down all traffic on the network. Comcast claims the right to manage its network and asks the FCC to declare that its practices are reasonable and fully consistent with the FCC's Broadband Policy Statement. Dozens of parties commented on the petition and what follows summarizes some of the main positions and their implications for consumers.

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