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Free Press: Mobile Wireless Broadband Needs Net Rules

Free Press
Thursday told the FCC there was no justification for exempting mobile
wireless broadband from its proposed expansion and codification of
network neutrality rules. Free Press doesn't want
a carve-out for managed services, either, but given that the FCC has
suggested it might be predisposed to do so, pushed for a narrow
exemption. Those are the specialized services that are delivered via
broadband, but not over the public Internet.

"The record
demonstrates no substantive technical or economic support for any form
of exemption for mobile wireless services," Free Press said in reply
comments to the FCC. The commission had asked
for comment on whether it should apply the rules to mobile broadband or
managed services. Thursday was the deadline for comment.

And while
Free Press said that it did not think the FCC should give an exemption
to specialized services either, it said that if the commission decides
to do so, it should limit the scope of the exemption
and that it could promote competition and access without Imposing
substantive restrictions: on those services.

specialized services can include telemedicine, distance learning and
remote energy monitoring, Free Press is concerned that not applying open
access rules would allow providers to build a pay-for-play
platform, say for a video service, that "evades and eclipses" open
access, said the group.

It has been
over a year since the FCC proposed to codify its Internet openness
principles and add ones on transparency and nondiscrimination. But
the BitTorrent court decision reversing its smackdown
of Comcast over blocking file uploads has put a crimp in that effort.
The FCC is currently contemplating how to clarify its authority, but is
not expected to take any action before the end of the year.