Thursday, December 23, 2010

FCC Net Neutrality Rule Creates Tiered Internet Access, Despite Not Wanting To

The Federal Communications Commission's "Open Network" rules, which inevitably will be known as the "network neutrality" rules, ironically enshrine the notion of tiered Internet access service, even when it attempts to keep the fixed-network Internet access service a "best effort only" type of product.

There are two reasons. First, the rules applying to wireless networks are more flexible. The second reason is that the rules explicitly exempt enterprise access services from the rules.

"Mass-market retail service" is covered, meaning "a service marketed and sold on a standardized basis to
residential customers, small businesses, and other end-user customers such as schools and

"The term does not include enterprise service offerings, which are typically offered to larger organizations through customized or individually negotiated arrangements," the official document says.

That suggests we might conceivably see wireless and business access become the places where more experimentation occurs, since those are the places that differentiated access products can be created and sold.

read the whole document here

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