COMPTEL Joins Internet Slowdown Protest

Urges Surfers to Contact Congress Over Issue

Add COMPTEL, which represents competitive telecom carriers, to the advocacy groups and edge providers participating in the Internet Slowdown protest today (Sept. 10).

Like all the others, COMPTEL is featuring an icon on its site symbolizing the loading delay of slowed Internet access.

The idea is to "call attention to the inevitable slow down that will occur if the open Internet is not preserved," said COMPTEL. The COMPTEL site also features a banner encouraging web surfers to contact lawmakers with their concerns.

Cable operators argue they, too want openness, not just in the form of Title II reclassification, which would treat Internet access as a common carrier for the purposes of insuring no blocking, degradation or discrimination. The first two cable ops say they won't do and aren't doing. The third is a more finessed answer, with operators arguing that some prioritization is necessary and can be handed through the proposed "no commercially unreasonable" discrimination provision in the FCC's proposed new rules.

In its comments to the commission on those new rules, COMPTEL urged Title II reclassification for the transmission component of broadband and a clear signal the FCC would not allow anticompetitive practices in the exchange of Internet traffic.

Paid peering has become part of the debate, although network neutrality has historically been about last-mile connections to the home rather than the relationship between networks or networks and edge providers.

Some critics of Title II classification argue the FCC will have to levy tariffs on edge providers.