Level 3: No Net Neutrality Complaints — Yet - Multichannel

Level 3: No Net Neutrality Complaints — Yet

But Status Quo Depends on ISPs Offering Necessary Capacity
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WASHINGTON — Internet backbone service provider Level 3 is echoing Cogent in its approach to the Federal Communications Commission's new network-neutrality enforcement regime, which for the first time includes interconnection issues.

That approach is to leave open the option of filing a complaint as it continues to negotiate with the broadband Internet-service providers it has yet to strike deals with.

"We are pleased the Open Internet rules are now the law," Mike Mooney, senior vice president and general counsel of regulatory policy for the company, said. "We are likewise pleased that we have been able to recently reach and announce mutually beneficial interconnection agreements with industry partners like Verizon [Communications], AT&T and Comcast that focus on a growing, secure and resilient interconnection architecture.

"Agreements like these are good for the Internet and American consumers,” Mooney said.

 But that statement was not the end of the story. "Unfortunately, we have not yet reached agreements with everyone," he added, though he suggested the holdouts were outliers that needed to get with the program.

"If an ISP refuses to add the necessary interconnection capacity required to prevent consumers from suffering bad online experiences," he said, "we will have little choice but to make the FCC aware of it, particularly since such conduct would be inconsistent with the behavior of the rest of the industry."   

ISPs have argued that by bringing interconnections under the net-neutrality regime backbone providers get added leverage in what should be business negotiations free of government interference.