Microsoft warns against strong definition of net neutrality

by Cecilia Kang, Washington Post

I dug a bit more today and found some interesting nuggets in Microsoft’s comments about the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed net neutrality rules.

The software giant, long a proponent of open Internet policies, isn’t as keen on some portions of a proposed rule by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that would restrict any discrimination of Web traffic or applications by broadband access providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.

Microsoft didn’t take a position on the FCC’s legal authority over broadband services. Microsoft said it favored better enforcement of guidelines for how Internet access providers handle traffic on their networks. And it said the FCC needed more investigation into whether it should include wireless network providers in new rules. Wireless providers argue that their networks have capacity constraints unlike those of fixed-wire broadband providers and shouldn't be subject to the same rules.

In its filing to the FCC earlier this week, the software giant said that as long as they're competitive and don’t harm consumers, broadband access providers should be able to offer enhanced and tiered services. An example would be Comcast offering streaming Netflix videos as a premium service.

“This approach would afford access providers the necessary flexibility to serve a wide range of entities, from multinational enterprises, to small businesses, to residential customers, so long as they do so in a manner that is not anticompetitive or harmful to consumers,” Microsoft's Washington counsel wrote in the filing.

article originally published at Washington Post.

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