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Level 3 may wield net neutrality rules against Comcast

updated 11:00 am EST, Fri January 14, 2011

Level 3 to use net neutrality against Comcast

In the latest development in their fight, international, fiber-based Internet provider Level 3 Communications may be readying to challenge Comcast under the new net neutrality rules approved by the FCC. It argued that Comcast might break the rules by charging special access or toll charges to reach a customer, as is purportedly the case for its decision to charge Level 3 extra for Netflix traffic. It planned to achieve this under the Open Internet Order or otherwise, which could include legal action.

Level 3 hopes to find a "fair and reasonable interconnection regime that doesn't require a toll for the delivery of content to Comcast eyeballs," according to comments.

Comcast simply said it's in negotiations with Level 3 but offered no other comment.

The issue began when Level 3 began offering Netflix videos to its customers, significantly increasing traffic going through Level 3's backbone versus others. Level 3 then demanded as many as 30 new 10-gigabit Ethernet ports from Comcast for free under their existing settlement-free peering agreement, though Comcast demanded payment.

"Level 3 effectively demanded unlimited capacity at our cost," Comcast executive vice president of national engineering and technical operations, John Schanz, claimed last year.

Level 3 is currently paying for the added capacity it requested from Comcast and will continue to do so unless successful in its undertaking. [via MultiChannel]

by MacNN Staff



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