NCTA Opposes Net Neutrality Rules


The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has split the difference between those that want the Federal Communications Commission to apply its network neutrality rules to wireless broadband and specialized services (the Open Internet Coalition, for example), and those that want the FCC to apply them to neither (AT&T).

In comments filed at the FCC Tuesday, NCTA said that the FCC should not expand and codify its network-neutrality rules, period. But if it does, the cable trade group says, it should apply them only to a "clearly defined broadband Internet access service" and not a managed service, which is not delivered via the public Internet.

And NCTA argues that what is sauce for the wired ISP ought to be sauce for wireless broadband providers. NCTA says it would be "arbitrary and capricious" to apply rules to wired ISPS while exempting wireless gateways, not to mention, though NCTA actually did, that it would provide a regulatory advantage to the wireless providers.

And extending the comparison, NCTA said that the same net neutrality rules should also apply to search engines and other content gateways, particularly transparency and disclosure rules the FCC has proposed adding to its current four Internet openness principles.

The FCC proposal was made last fall, but the BitTorrent court decision calling its broadband regulatory authority into question has delayed action. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has the necessary three votes for approval.