New net neutrality rules were set last week by the FCC, and the rules state that Internet service providers are to comply with a ban against “paid prioritization”, thereby disallowing different treatment for different websites and content. These rules are to regulate broadband providers imposing on traditional phone companies or other utilities.
The FCC has received its first net neutrality complaint filed by Commercial Network Services (CNS) against Time Warner Cable. The complaint highlights the interconnection between the two companies. CNS is claiming that TWC only gives it access to congested traffic routes and refuses to deliver its content through low-latency connections. CNS says this is causing subscribers to opt-in using more congested traffic routes rather than pay for faster routes.
TWC has told the Register and Washington Post that it does have free arrangements with operators who exchange high volumes of traffic at multiple locations and where there is a mutual exchange of value, but unfortunately, CNS doesn’t qualify for the same deal. TWC is providing subscribers with the best possibly options that are available to them through provider options.
FCC’s decision being closely watched
Some consumers believe net neutrality is the way Internet traffic should be treated. It advocates that Internet service providersshould treat all data traffic on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging deferentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.
The FCC has stated in the new rules that Internet service providers will not be allowed to block or slow down web content and services of content providers. They will also not be allowed to give preferential treatment and increased speeds to content providers in exchange for payments.
Playing a little devil’s advocate here the FCC has avoided setting limits for other issues, but they will punish behavior that relates to the new rules. The FCC has stated that content providers generally have deals with internet providers in which they pay to ensure smooth running service in times of high traffic, and relating the CNS and TWC case, the FCC will need to review the deal and insure that the terms are being met and are reasonable.
The FCC is also dealing with issues that arise on a case by case basis, so it is unclear how the FCC will look upon the new dispute. Their decision will give providers a better idea on how they plan to deal with approaches in the future.
The outcomes that could arise
This is a 50/50 shot on how the outcome will turn out for both companies. The new rules were just implemented a week ago, but interconnection has been in debate among cable and internet providers in the past. The internet service providers have expressed concerns that a highly regulated environment could deter investments in broadband services.
This would hurt consumers and cable companies if internet providers didn’t want to partner due to rates increasing because of cable companies partnering with other providers. Internet providers want to deliver high-speeds at an affordable cost, but with more regulation that may not happen causing customers to cancel and other deals to be made on a company spectrum. Whose side are you on?