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OIC: FCC Should Punt on Managed Services Call For Now

The Open Internet Coalition told the FCC Tuesday that it needs to go ahead and codify and expand its network

rules, and that they should apply to wireless broadband, and to managed
services, though it argues for not taking any action on the latter until
the FCC gets a better handle on just what
those services are.

That came in response to the FCC's request for more comment on those two issues, which were two of the key

sticking points in the failed attempt by top House lawmakers and stakeholders to come up with a legislative

response to the BitTorrent decision calling into question teh FCC's broadband regulatory authority.

The coalition, which includes Google,, Sling Media, Twitter, Free Press, Public Knowledge, and dozens

of others, said the FCC should not apply those principles to "edge providers" like app stores, but that wireless

carriers, if they struck exclusive deals, "must ensure that such app store operator or device manufacturer
operates consistently with the carrier's obligations under the open Internet principles."

While OIC acknowledges that there are differences between wired and wireless networks when it comes to network

management, it argues the "reasonable network management" carve-out the FCC is proposing is broad enough to handle those differences, and says that the definition of reasonable does not have to be the same for both.

OIC argues
that it is not yet clear just what managed services are, and so would
be premature to adopt rules about them. "For example," it argues
in its filing, "the policy approach may be very different if
specialized services were limited to services like telemedicine than if
the services in this category competed directly with content, applications, and services offered by unaffiliated parties," like say, an online video service.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski last fall proposed codifying the FCC's network openness guidelines an

d expanding
them with ones on transparency--telling users how their information
access is being managed--and nondiscrimination, which means not blocking
or degrading content or applications.

was reached generally on all those, but disagreement over their
application to wireless and managed services proved too high a hurdle,
that and likely Republicans' reluctance to hand the
Democrats a victory on a bill motormanned by Democratic House Energy
& Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) so close to
the election.