FCC: Net neutrality rules will protect Internet video services
Internet video distributors would be harmed if Verizon (NYSE: VZ) succeeds in its attempts to block the FCC from implementing network neutrality rules it adopted in 2010, the commission argued in a court filing Monday.
"With Internet-based video services becoming an increasingly important aspect of competition between cable systems and satellite systems, blocking or degrading of Internet traffic threatens to eviscerate Congress's intent to protect competition," the FCC said in a brief filed at the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
While Verizon has argued that the network neutrality rules aren't necessary, the FCC cited several examples of cable operators and other high-speed Internet providers allegedly throttling or blocking access to Web content and competing Internet-based telephone services. The commission noted that Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Cox Communications have previously blocked access to file-sharing services, and that RCN settled a class-action suit in 2010 in which it was accused of blocking access to file-sharing services.
The FCC also cited the example of North Carolina-based telco Madison River Communication, which had blocked its customers from making telephone calls with VoIP provider Vonage, and how AT&T (NYSE: T) had previously restricted its customers from using Skype to make calls on mobile phones.
"[T]he record showed that broadband providers had acted to block or discriminate against disfavored applications," the FCC told the court.
- see the FCC brief
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