Net neutrality expected to pass, investment analyst says
Investment analyst Rebecca Arbogast believes proposed net neutrality rules, now being considered in private deliberation by members of the Federal Communications Commission, will be approved with some tweaks.
Arbogast, a Stifel Nicolaus analyst, said Democratic commissioners Michael J. Copps and Meredith Baker won't likely push for rules that redefine broadband as a telecom service but will argue to beef up some provisions including stronger wireless rules, limits or bans on paid priority delivery of content, and clear definitions for what services are covered in the rules.
"We believe it’s in the majority’s interests to coalesce around a decision," Arbogast wrote. "So while we expect some tough bargaining that goes down to the wire next Tuesday, our sense is an order likely will be approved, with some modifications, but not radical changes, to the draft, given the tightrope the FCC leadership appears to be walking."
Indeed, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast wouldn't tolerate major changes to the order, which they have negotiated with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for more than half a year. In particular, the telecom firms will resist any stronger rules to wireless networks beyond anti-blocking rules for voice and video telephony services. Public interest groups have pushed for reasonable network management rules on wireless networks.
"We believe there could be some give-and-take on a possible presumption against paid prioritization and some tweaks to the broadband Internet access service definition -- up to a point," she said.
| December 15, 2010; 3:27 PM ET
Categories: FCC, Net Neutrality
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