Wheeler: ISPs Have Ability to Deal With DDOS Attacks

Points to network management carve-out in Open Internet rules

WASHINGTON -- FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said Thursday (Oct. 27) that the FCC's Open Internet Order gives ISPs the ability to deal with distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks like the one that hit Twitter, Netflix and other sites last week.

Related: Eastern U.S. Hit by DDoS Attack

At a press conference following the FCC's Oct. 27 public meeting, the chairman said that given that the order allows for reasonable network management, ISPS "clearly" have leeway "to deal with issues like this."

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Wheeler's remarks came in response to a letter from Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) expressing concerns that the Open Internet order might restrict an ISP's response to an attach, particularly given the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices. Wheeler added that he would be officially responding to Warner's letter also.

Commissioner Ajit Pai, speaking after the chairman, said he would be willing to work with Warner's staff to "try to get to the bottom of this," but said he thought the FCC's role on cybersecurity should primarily be as a consultant.