TWC: CNS Just Seeking FCC Peering Mandate

In its response to the informal network neutrality complaint filed by CNS last month, Time Warner Cable told the FCC that there was no violation, that TWC was applying an industry standard peering policy, and that CNS was just trying to get the FCC to mandate a settlement-free deal that CNS did not warrant.

That is according to a copy of TWC's reply to the complaint obtained by Multichannel News.

"CNS’s Informal Complaint does not remotely demonstrate any violation of the 2015 Open Internet Order or the Commission’s rules," said the cable operator. "Rather, CNS asks the Commission to establish a new mandate of 'open peering' that would result in tremendous inefficiency and would upend market-based Internet traffic-exchange practices that for many years have functioned successfully 'without significant Commission oversight.'"

TWC said it enters into settlement-free agreements with other networks where "various technical criteria—including total traffic volume and the ability to interconnect in multiple locations—are satisfied," and where there is a relatively equal exchange of value. "CNS did not satisfy those criteria and thus did not qualify for settlement-free peering under TWC’s industry-standard policy."

CNS claims that TWC's peering policy violates the no paid prioritization and no throttling bright-line rules in the 2015 Open Internet Order even though that order expressly declines to extend those rules to interconnection, said TWC. The FCC for the first time included interconnections in its net neutrality rules, but under a case-by-case approach.

But even if there were bright-line rules, TWC says its traffic exchange practices are just and reasonable.

CNS disagrees. In its rebuttal, it said: "[A]ny fees TWC are claiming due them to exchange traffic for their BIAS [Broadcast Internet Access Service] consumers with our edge over a common public Internet exchange where both networks maintain a presence have already been paid by the BIAS consumer who is requesting the data from our network in the first place. Any demand for additional payment by TWC to exchange traffic over the obviously technically feasible and most ideal point constitutes unreasonable interference."

John Eggerton

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.