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AT&T: net neutrality OK if we can cut priority access deals
Tech Business
Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 18:12

From Ars Technica

AT&T says it's all for net neutrality now, as long as it can cut priority access deals with content providers. Critics say a ban on those kind of deals is what net neutrality is really about.

The nation's top telco claims it is willing to meet the Federal Communications Commission halfway on net neutrality.

The olive branch comes in the form of a letter that AT&T sent to the FCC on Tuesday, which suggests specific wording for Internet non-discrimination rules. In September the agency released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would toughen up its Internet Policy Statement with an enforcement mechanism and transparency requirements.

Now AT&T Vice President James Cicconi says that's fine, just as long as the final Order "eschews a strict nondiscrimination standard and instead focuses on 'unreasonable and anticompetitive' forms of discrimination that adversely affect consumers." This phrasing is somewhat similar, AT&T notes, to the old 1934 Communications Act common carrier language that banned telcos from engaging in "unjust and unreasonable discrimination."

For those of you who are scratching your heads and pondering the difference between a strict standard and an anti-anticompetitive one, here's the distinction as AT&T sees it. The problem with a strict standard is that it could put the kibosh on the "availability of creative and innovative services that consumers may want to purchase." [More...] [Comments...]

 

 

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