The American Cable Association says that if the FCC wants to ensure "unfettered" access to Internet content, it will need to restrict what ACA calls closed Internet models.
Specifically, ACA has been taking aim for months at the ESPN360 service.
"ACA believes that content distributors such as ESPN360 should live under the same Net Neutrality rules as broadband service providers," ACA President Matthew Polka said. "The
foremost principle of Net Neutrality is that consumers can access the legal content of their choice. ESPN360 fails that principle, and any regulation must address that."
ISPs have to pay a fee for ESPN360 based on the number of subs. Such deals, says ACA, are a violation of what it calls "content neutrality" because they "block access to this Web content unless an access provider agrees to place this financial burden on all of its broadband customers."
Asked at a press briefing whether such deals would not drive up the price of broadband, Comcast executive vice president David Cohen told reporters Monday that the company was "very comfortable" with its deal for ESPN content, including EPSN360. He said Comcast has not raised its price for high-speed broadband in six years (it did recently raise the rental price for cable modems).