According to a source familiar with the network neutrality draft, there have been some language changes on the
definition of an Internet Service Provider and on paid prioritization that make it more acceptable to FCC
Commissioner Michael Copps.
Copps supports expanding and codifying network neutrality rules, but has said the draft of an order Chairman Julius
Genachowski has circulated for a Dec. 21 vote.
It is unclear how much the order has changed. It did not ban paid prioritization, which troubled Copps, as did a
definition of Internet Service Provider that he thought could allow some services to define themselves out of being
subject to the network neutrality rules.
There does not appear to be movement on the commissioner's third issue, which is applying the regulations to wireless as well as wired broadband. The original draft only applied non-blocking and transparency conditions to wireless, but
Copps has said they should apply to both, with flexibility in the carve-out for reasonable network management to
account for the technological differences between it and wired broadband.
The wireless industry has signaled that any more regs applied to wireless beyond the draft language they were presented with would be unacceptable and could well result in their taking the rules to court.
Copps has said his vote is no lock unless those three issues are addressed.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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