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Level 3: Genachowski Has Not Foreclosed FCC Action

Level 3,
which is in a dispute with Comcast over pricing of its peering, or not
peering, depending on whom you ask, deal with Comcast, said Thursday that
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has not foreclosed
FCC action.

In a Hill
hearing, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) cited
the Level 3 complaint and asked Genachowski whether the FCC's network neutrality
rules apply to peering agreements. He said no,
that the order does not change peering agreements and applies only to
network access service for consumers and small businesses. He called the
Level 3 dispute a commercial one outside of the commission, and one the
FCC didn't have facts and data on.

While that
appeared to some to close the matter, Level 3 said it did not. It
pointed out in a statement Thursday that Genachowski had chosen his
words carefully, which the Harvard lawyer does as a
general practice.

responding, Chairman Genachowski was careful to say that he did not have
an opinion about [the specific dispute], pointing out accurately that
the Level 3/Comcast dispute is not yet before the
FCC and that the FCC has collected no facts about the dispute. Instead,
he stated that the Open Internet Order does not affect ‘peering
agreements,' but does regulate Internet access service provided to
consumers and small businesses," which is what Level
3 argues it is providing.

Level 3 argues that its dispute is not with peering,

that it does not have a peering agreement with Comcast, and that it has
not yet decided whether or not to file a formal complaint.