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The Podium

Friday, January 14

A Fight on the Horizon

By Brad

The fight between Comcast and Level 3 Communications over content delivery fees may turn out to be the first major tech battle post the net neutrality war. From Todd Spangler of Multichannel News:

The dispute has implications for all Internet network providers and content companies. If Level 3 prevails in convincing regulators that Comcast shouldn’t be allowed levy fees on networks that offload a disproportionate amount of data, it would change the economic model for how traffic is exchanged on the Internet.

Level 3 argues that the FCC’s network neutrality rules, adopted Dec. 21 in a 3-2 vote, explicitly forbid Comcast and other residential broadband providers from charging anyone a “toll” to reach consumers.

In its fight with Comcast, “we may decide to proceed under the Open Internet Order, or we may decide to proceed otherwise,” Level 3 executive vice president and assistant chief legal officer John Ryan said in an interview. “Our objective is to get to the point where the parties have agreed on a fair and reasonable interconnection regime that doesn’t require a toll for the delivery of content to Comcast eyeballs.”