FCC On NetNeutrality – Don’t Worry, Be Happy


A few days ago, I pointed out the double standards Federal Communications Commission has when it comes to dealing with with the phone companies and cable operators. More proof that the FCC is totally skewed in favor of the phone giants! Last week FCC made a lot of noises about how it needs to worry about the network neutrality before giving the final go ahead on the proposed purchase of Adelphia by Time Warner and Comcast. At a luncheon hosted by Comptel today (where everyone sang Happy Birthday Mr. Chairman) FCC head honcho, Kevin Martin said….

“I’m hesitant to adopt rules that would prevent anti-competitive behavior where there hasn’t been significant evidence of a problem. That doesn’t mean people don’t have a lot of concern about potential problems, but there’s a significant difference between potential problems and problems that occur.” [via Reuters]

To recap, when the commish is saying that, there is no need for FCC to adopt rules to protect consumers and giving them freedom of choosing their IP Services, after all, carriers haven’t done anything thus far. So why worry?

Because both BellSouth and SBC have been quite explicit in saying that they are going to give preferential treatment to their own services and will charge others. (I have no problems with the preferential part, after all they own the network!)


Robert J. Berger

Sorry, no the Telcos did not pay for the network. We the ratepayers paid for it over and over and over again under monopoly based regulated pricing. Now they dare to say they own it!

Its time for horizontal divestature. A fundamental maxium of networks must be that the same entity that controls the pipe is allowed to control content. There is no way to have democracy or free speech let alone true choice of entertainment, news and information if the same entity controls both.

Municipal layer 1 networks (fiber, conduit and telephone poles) with open access at municipal meet points would be the most appropriate way if we didn’t have total warpage of regulation by monied monopoly interests.

Steve Shaffer

BusinessWeek has published more either of this story or related to it here:

The good news is that a small carrier got fined. The bad news is that they weren’t breaking any laws.
The FCC ruling that allows this behavior has major implications for anyone trying to deliver services to consumers. It’s worth reading here:

Also Mr Whitacre (AT&T CEO for now) has a very chilling comment in the article:

Yet in a Nov. 7 interview with BusinessWeek Online, AT&T CEO Edward Whitacre Jr. declared: “What [Google, Vonage, and others] would like to do is to use my pipes free. But I ain’t going to let them do that.” Whitacre and AT&T argue that they need flexibility to exact a toll from Web services that hog bandwidth.

Last time I checked I’m paying for the “pipe”, so is Googlezon, and network providers are misleading us about how much bandwidth is truly available (due to massive over subscription). Anyone who thinks that the FCC ruling 05-150 will stimulate innovation in organizations that rely on monopolistic regulations for unfair advantage hasn’t worked with telcos or MSOs.

I’ve written more about this here:

This is one of the few times that I’ve written to my congressonal representatives. FCC 05-150 is a scandle.



You say you aren’t worried about network owners giving preferential treatment to their own services but ARE worried about them charging others for the same quality of service. And in same post where you excorciate the FCC on its double standard.

So if BellSouth’s new 8×8 “partnered” service is given reserved bandwidth (and this is what all the technical QoS mumbo jumbo adds up to in practice) and consequently works over my funky no-so-reliable DSL line while Vonage’s and Skype’s are unreliable and prone to odd hesitations that’s ok?

I paid for that bandwidth or at least I think I did and I believe leaching from it to give 8×8 some special privilege is leaching from me. In MY opinion (if not a lawyers) promising me “best effort” service can ONLY mean that BellSouth (ATT, et al.) don’t deliberately eat up bandwidth that they sold me. And that should include offering “prioritizeation” to their favored few or even their own directly-owned product.

Is that ok? If so how do you reason about it? And how is it true that they aren’t selling something to their 8×8 partner (or themselves should that come to pass) that they already sold me?


>>A few days ago, I pointed out the double standards Federal Communications Commission has when it comes to dealing with with the phone companies and cable operators

FCC has double standards on VoIP companies too, though it didn`t take any major step after the deadline passed away. We posted a cartoon on double standards of FCC –


“So the commish might still do some pro-consumer stuff in case the Bells turn ‘naughty’.”

Never. Telcos would have to get into genocide.

This FCC is 100% pro-telco, anti-regulation – to a fault. The closest they get to consumer protection is a tersely worded pdf issued by Commissioner Copps now and again.

People should be very worried about this new telco move, and the apparent apathy coming from the FCC.

Om Malik

moo, come on, what are the odds of that happening. i don’t think that is the case at all. i am increasingly worried about that not being the case.


So the commish might still do some pro-consumer stuff in case the Bells turn ‘naughty’.

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