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Highlights of what AT&T, Google told FCC about net neutrality

Public comments for the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality proposal poured in Friday, and here are some of the highlights from Post Tech’s initial readings:

AT&T said it doesn't think there is a need for new regulation, especially a rule that would include wireless. It called for the agency to tweak several things in its draft of rules:

-A more flexible definition of discrimination. The ISP wants to be able to offer Web content companies managed services. As an example, a company such as AT&T could partner with Nexflix to offer, for a fee, real-time streaming videos. It also wants to be able to provide practices such as edge caching – where a company like Google could pay an ISP to place their servers within the service provider’s network, which would provide faster delivery of content.

-Don't include wireless

-On transparency principle, AT&T said it would provide details of network practices to consumers, but not deeper information to competitors.

-Include Web content and applications companies like Google: “We have that balance today and we have real doubts that we can maintain that balance if the Commission moves forward on its proposals,” said Bob Quinn, AT&T’s vice president of federal and regulatory affairs.

Google and Verizon showed up as a couple – again – telling the FCC they have more in common on the contentious issue than meets the eye. But on some details they diverged. The companies filed separate comments with individual rules and a joint letter to the FCC meant to show they believe they share middle ground.

Verizon’s position is generally more like AT&T’s. It says the industry doesn't need new rules. But if they are going to be established, then they should not apply to wireless.

Google has different ideas in mind. It wants:

-A policy that applies to wireless and wireline alike

-A nondiscrimination principle that bans prioritizing Internet traffic based on the ownership (the who), or the source (the what) of the content or application. That would be a stronger definition than proposed by AT&T.

-But Google also agreed with some ISPs that they need a “carefully defined” definition for what is considered reasonable network management, “so that broadband providers are empowered to address genuine congestion issues and protect against hazards like malware and spamming.”

By Cecilia Kang  |  January 15, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  AT&T , Net Neutrality , Verizon  
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Naturally, Cecilia Kang, whose blog is supported by advertising placed by Google, highlights Google's comments over the far more enlightened ones in the FCC record.

Posted by: squirma | January 16, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

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