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[ NNSquad ] Re: [IP] FCC chairman to propose plan for net neutrality

I can't say I'm surprised that the FCC can't grasp the concept of the
Internet as something fundamental. It seems to treat it as another service
and lets the carriers define the metrics. This is the CLEC model all over
again. The value of bits as data doesn't correlate with the number of bits.

Until the FCC can address the fundamental conflict of interest inherent in
having a company in both the transport business and content business we're
going to get more rationalization for the status quo.

But then why would you expect an agency whose legacy comes from running
railroads (the FCC is modeled on the ICC) to be able to grasp the
fundamental concept that the value is created 100% outside a network. If
they can't deal with externalities then there is a problem when all the
value is external.

BTW, I just posted comments on the Comcast triple play this week -- Outage,
Outrage (Netflix) and neo-Carterfone (ZoomTel suit) as http://rmf.vc/?n=CLU
(also http://rmf.vc/?n=Demystify on the larger issues).

-----Original Message-----
From: David Farber [mailto:dave@farber.net]
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2010 12:42
To: ip
Subject: [IP] FCC chairman to propose plan for net neutrality

FCC chairman to propose plan for net neutrality By Cecilia Kang Washington
Post Staff Writer Wednesday, December 1, 2010; 12:01 AM

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission plans to announce
Wednesday a controversial proposal that would prohibit Internet providers
from favoring or discriminating against any traffic that goes over their

He would do so, however, without resorting to the more drastic step of
changing the way the FCC regulates broadband providers, a move that would
have more clearly asserted the government's authority over Internet access.

In a statement provided to reporters in advance of Wednesday's announcement,
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said he thinks he has "a sound legal basis"
to pursue so-called net-neutrality rules that would prevent companies such
as Verizon, Comcast and AT&T from blocking or serving up some Web sites
faster and at better quality than others.

Last summer, Genachowski said he would move to reclassify broadband as
something akin to more heavily regulated telephone service, after a federal
appeals court threw the government's position as Web access regulator into
question. The court said in April that the FCC had no legal authority to
sanction Comcast for blocking files shared through the BitTorrent

Broadband companies strongly resisted being reclassified, and now
Genachowski has shifted his approach.

"Informed by the staff's additional legal analysis and the extensive
comments on this issue over the past year, the proposal is grounded in a
variety of provisions of the communications laws, but would not reclassify
broadband," Genachowski said.

Telecom lawyers and public interest groups have argued that without
redefining its role over Internet service providers, the FCC's ability to
carry out broadband rules is weakened. That suggests that the proposal
Genachowski plans to announce Wednesday could still wind up being challenged
in courts.

Genachowski's proposal also goes against warnings by emboldened Republican
lawmakers who have criticized such rules as anti-business.


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