The F.C.C. in a 3-2 vote on Thursday opened Net Neutrality to a debate that it will be maintained if there is paid prioritization on the Internet highway, according to The Wall Street Journal. It has been a heated debate with Tom Wheeler chairman of the F.C.C. stating that there will not be “have” and “have-nots” on the Internet.
How does the proposed changes from the F.C.C. work to define the passage on the Internet highway and the unbridled equal stream of the Internet service providers to their distributors? Wheeler and his associates must navigate through this process to assure consumers of equality.
Wheeler explained on Thursday that the proposed plan lists a baseline of service not degradation for the consumer. What has been provided and paid will not be changed to a lesser level of service to be provided. It does mean that within the broadband provider’s networks there is the option to usher through congested, slow moving areas of the line first certain choices.
If the broadband provider chooses to arrange a “pre-paid” pass service on the menu within the system, then it can be arranged in priority for streaming through the service to the consumer. Telecom and cable companies can make a choice to use a managed services option which is already in their system to route their own video stream.
Apple has shown interest to choose this route, which would avoid hurting the broadband provider's remaining Internet traffic. You are re-allocating the current position of your available system. It does require change in the allocation structure which costs to expand the existing private lines.
Internet gear is available to segregate separate lines from companies like Cisco, Sandvine and others who provide this service. The levels of complexity in the deals offered are not embraced by most telecom and Internet providers. Don Bowman, chief technology officer for Sandvine network-gear maker clarified the situation as, "You can reallocate what's in the pipe, but it can't get wider."
Comcast would consider a deal where content providers such as Netflix already in an agreement with Comcast could connect directly to Comcast’s network to allow faster and seamless service according to Chief Network Officer John Schanz of Comcast in an interview with the WSJ. Netflix has used a third party connection provider to stream in the content from Comcast.
It has been a point of disagreement voiced by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that Netflix must pay Comcast for the service in order to provide Netflix customers the “House of Cards” and other programs. Hastings finalized an agreement to pay Comcast in late March with a follow-up in his blog with grievances against the paid requirement.
The dissenting Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, was the most forceful in his dissent. “The premise for imposing net neutrality rules is fundamentally flawed and rests on a faulty foundation of make-believe statutory authority. I have serious concerns that this ill-advised item will create damaging uncertainty and head the commission down a slippery slope of regulation.”
The next step is 60 days of comments and discussion to be submitted to the F.C.C. set for July 15. This is followed by a 60-day period for responses. The timeline for this final rule change is placed in September at a F.C.C. meeting.