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FCC Kicks ISP Complaint Vs. MSO

The Federal Communications Commission last week dismissed on procedural grounds a complaint that alleged AOL Time Warner Inc. had discriminated against a Texas-based Internet service provider, in violation of the agency's 2001 America Online Inc.-Time Warner Inc. merger order.

South Texas Internet Connections (STIC.NET) filed the complaint Sept. 25, but FCC Media Bureau chief Kenneth Ferree dismissed it, claiming it lacked supporting documentation or affidavits as required by agency rules.

"The complaint, as filed, is not sufficient to make a reasoned analysis," Ferree said in a two-page order.

San Antonio-based STIC.NET was not barred from refiling the complaint, Ferree wrote. STIC.NET president David Robertson said he planned to amend the complaint and refile.

STIC.NET has an agreement to access high-speed data consumers over some Time Warner Cable systems in Texas.

In the complaint, STIC.NET accused Time Warner Cable of predatory pricing, claiming it offered retail rates well below STIC's wholesale rate. STIC.NET also alleged that it was barred from serving businesses and from providing Internet-protocol telephony in manner that could cause regulators to classify it as a telecommunications service.