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Cogent Holding Off on Net Neutrality Complaints…for Now

Transit provider Cogent says it has not yet filed any interconnection-related network neutrality complaints and is still trying to negotiate with the remaining, "offending," ISPs, though its CEO signaled those negotiations have improved since the FCC signaled its new rules would include interconnection.

Cogent is one of the companies--Netflix is another--that cable operators are expecting could file complaints under the new network neutrality rules, which went into effect June 12 and, for the first time, included interconnections issues as potential net neutrality violations.

Initially FCC Chairman Tom wheeler had signaled that middle-mile interconnection issues were separate from those involving the customer-facing, last-mile ISP connections, but that changed last fall along with the original plan not to reclassify ISPs under Title II common carrier regs.

Cogent had signaled it could be filing complaints once the new rules went into effect, and still could.

But Cogent CEO Dave Schaefer (pictured) told B&C/Multichannel News Monday that the FCC's order, adopted back in February, had accelerated interconnection agreement talks--Verizon and AT&T have both struck deals Cogent was happy with, and tha negotiations were ongoing with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink.

He did not characterize the status of the negotiations, beyond saying the "pace and quality" had improved. He also did not give any timetable for when nonproductive negotiations would trigger a complaint, saying it was all relative to how those improved discussions go.

"We hope that all the parties will adhere to the open Internet order and the principles thereon and enter into negotiated agreements, he said.

Netflix had no comment on whether it had or was going to file a complaint.

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.