Comcast Pushes LVLT and Obama FCC To Act

In our ongoing saga of the failure of our leaders to understand that, we need a completely new architecture to supply telecom services to our population and provide opportunities for profit, jobs and business futures, we found this little story over in the financial sector, from Barrons.  It seems like when it comes to Net Neutrality leadership, Julius Genachowski is laying low again.  The sordid tangle that is the telecom blueprint for which companies own which lines and have which rights to put up a toll booth, continues to boggle the mind.  Just what Congress is waiting for is not clear, but if they’re asking why no new jobs, they really need to pay attention.  Internet access around the world will determine our economic future; supporting access to the masses is the only thing to do.  The U.S. continues to fall behind other countries in providing access and in using Internet access for much of its infrastructure.  This peculiar legal entanglement is nothing compared to how much money and time will be wasted the deeper we get into shared access and toll booths.  We need to speak with a single voice in saying Comcast is wrong and they should not be permitted to simply push the envelope at every level for their quasi political meanderings.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in proposing net neutrality rules last year, called for a principle of non- discrimination by Internet-service providers.

“This means they cannot block or degrade lawful traffic over their networks,” Genachowski said.


Level 3 Denounces Comcast 'Toll On Internet Traffic

By Tiernan Ray

An interesting wrinkle today in the debate over net neutrality and broadband content accesss: Level 3 Communications (LVLT), which operates thousands of miles of fiber optic networks throughout North America, said this afternoon it was asked on November 19th by Comcast (CMCSA), the nation’s biggest cable operator, to pay a recurring fee to Comcast every time one of Comcast’s subscribers requests content, such as movies, that are transmitted to Comcast’s network over the Internet via Level 3’s facilities.

Level 3 agreed to the fee in protest, arguing that Comcast is trying to “set up a toll booth” on the Internet and to promote a “closed” Internet. Level 3 is approaching policy makers, informing them that Comcast’s “toll” is in violation of the “spirit and letter” of the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed Internet Policy principles, it said, while urging Comcast’s management to strongly think over its demand.

Comcast has been criticized before for blocking various forms of Internet traffic. In April, courts ruled in Comcast’s favor in its appeal of an FCC order that Comcast stop blocking traffic from file-sharing service BitTorrent.

Of course, with all manner of new streaming and downloadable video services — Apple’s Apple TV, Google’s Google TV, Roku, Vudu, Hulu, etc., there are an increasing number of services detached from traditional cable carriage that threaten cable’s fee structure.


Down at the Silicon Valley Insider, we hear a bit more detail from Matt Rosoff on how this all is unfolding:

This is a perfect example of why it's so hard for technology companies to change the current TV distribution model. Comcast has no interest in allowing its Internet subscribers to undercut its core TV and video-on-demand business. After all, Comcast pays content owners to distribute their content–why should it allow ISPs a free ride?

Cord-cutting is a nice dream for the high-tech industry, but the incumbents aren't going to roll over and let it happen easily.


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I can't wait to track and find out if anyone in Congress cares a bit about LVLT's beef, and I doubt any of them understand the dynamics of how traffic affects the eCommerce and other communications services that keep our nation floating.  We know none know how other countries are threatening our livelihood and any competitive edge we think we might have.


One Response to Comcast Pushes LVLT and Obama FCC To Act

  1. ali
    Ali Mousavi December 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Wouldn't be the first time Comcast has forced the competition out of town.

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