Eight months after Level 3 Communications accused Comcast of abusing its dominant broadband market position by improperly erecting a "toll booth" on the Internet to charge content delivery networks, the two sides have not resolved their differences.
"The dispute is not over," Level 3 CEO Jim Crowe said on the company's quarterly earnings call Wednesday. "We feel just as strongly as we always have.... It's a huge battle."
In November 2010, Level 3 issued a press release complaining that Comcast demanded a recurring fee to deliver Internet video to broadband customers.
Comcast responded that Level 3 was trying to avoid paying standard content delivery network fees after Level 3 had recently signed a deal with Netflix to become a primary CDN provider and subsequently proposed to send twice the amount of traffic to the MSO's network.
According to Crowe, the core issue is that Comcast -- which in some markets has more than 70% share of residential broadband capable of delivering video -- should not be allowed to unilaterally dictate the price of delivering content to Internet users.
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