Thursday, June 14, 2007

FTTH Council Sees No Need for "Network Neutrality" Regulation

Weighing in on the "network neutrality" debate, the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council filed papers urging the FCC not to adopt a principle of non-discrimination in the transmission of content over the Internet. To do so, said the FTTH Council, would be to respond to a problem that doesn't presently exist with regulation that would inhibit investment in and harm further development of the Internet.

From its own study of the issue, the FTTH Council concludes that "there is no evidence that network platform providers are engaging in anticompetitive behavior, harming end-users or content and applications providers. Rather, there is a complex set of forces in the market for the delivery of information from content and applications providers to consumers that are balanced."

In its 76-page filing, the Council also said "that because congestion on the Internet is becoming a problem due to the proliferation of video and other high-bandwidth applications, some differentiation of content is necessary - and, in fact, healthy - to assure reasonable bandwidth management, network security, quality of service and the proper functioning of certain applications such as VoIP." At the same time, it noted that networks with increased bandwidth "are far less prone to congestion and thus have little need to prioritize transmissions. In essence, greater capacity makes the non-discrimination debate recede."

  • In March 2007, The Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council is calling on the U.S. government to adopt a "100 Megabit Nation" policy aimed at ensuring that next-generation broadband connections are universally available by 2015. Specifically, the FTTH Council proposed that Congress and the President act by the end of 2007 to adopt a strategy and timetable for clearing the way for all Americans to gain access to communication services at transmission speeds in excess of 100 Mbps. The recommendation included the goal of extending, through both private and public sector initiatives, affordable next-generation broadband to a majority of Americans by 2010, with universal availability by 2015.

See also