Network Neutrality could lead to inexpensive, high-quality broadband services for businesses
Last updated: October 25, 2009 - 9:12pm
Federal Communication Commission Network Neutrality rules have the potential to save businesses money in ways that range from heading off potential new Internet access charges to opening up low-cost, high-bandwidth services distinguished by superior quality of service. While the FCC won't make final decisions until next spring at the earliest, its rule-making agenda that was approved Thursday prompts speculation on what the outcome might yield, and that includes the possibility of high-quality access at a low price. The agenda includes examination of managed or specialized services such as IP TV that run over the same networks as general broadband Internet services. If the FCC decides to formally classify these specialized services as information services, existing communications law would allow for a rule requiring providers to wholesale the component parts of the service to competitors, says Tom Nolle, president and CEO of tech consultancy CIMI Corp. This was formerly the practice with information services, but the FCC changed its mind several years ago. But language in the proposed rule suggests the commission might revisit the old regulation. "It could be the start of a regulatory reversal," Nolle says.
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