Level 3 calls for FCC to extend net neutrality to interconnect points

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Even if the FCC adopts rules that restrict Internet service providers from discriminating against certain types of traffic, ISPs could still circumvent the spirit of the rules by building chokepoints into their networks.

That was the essential point made in a blog post rendered Monday by Internet middleman Level 3 Communications, which said the new FCC rules must extend further to cover deeper levels of network communication.

Simply stated, ISPs could still manipulate the size of the gates coming into their networks, so that traffic from video-heavy platforms like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and YouTube would be downgraded unless companies like Level 3 pay a toll.

"Even if fast lanes are not allowed in the last mile of the Internet, if they are allowed where the Internet connects into these same last mile networks, then the ISPs can continue to anti-competitively interfere with Internet content delivery," wrote Michael Mooney, senior VP and group general counsel for Level 3.

Level 3's proposition to the FCC: require ISPs to accept traffic without requiring a fee beyond what they charge their customers. In other words, just as Netflix doesn't want to pay for interconnection, Level 3 doesn't want to get charged tolls anymore for facilitating last-mile connections to ISP networks.

Separately, in a press release issued Tuesday, Level 3 announced the launch of its new Channel Origination solution for broadcasters.

Leveraging Level 3's Vyvx broadcast technology, the new solution gives broadcasters the ability to create linear channels for secure distribution to pay TV providers.

"Content providers increasingly want to spend more of their time developing compelling content and less time overseeing the complex processes required to deliver that content to their end users," said Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer at Level 3, in a statement. "Through Level 3's global fiber-based video distribution network, which enables us to securely and reliably deliver content anywhere in the world, our customers can increase their points of distribution, enabling them to scale more efficiently and focus on the growth of their business." 

For more:
- read this Level 3 blog post
- read this GigaOM story
- read this Level 3 press release

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