The dispute between Comcast and Level 3 continues, with both companies having met repeatedly with the FCC to discuss their side of the issue over the past weeks. They each have issued “Frequently Asked Questions” on the issue as well. Comcast maintains that this is a simple peering dispute between two private companies regarding charges for the amount of traffic exchanged, while Level 3 maintains that Comcast is violating Open Internet principles by seeking to charge more for traffic because it is coming from Netflix. This week, Comcast announced that its engineers will meet with Level 3’s engineers to discuss a proposal by Level 3 for the exchange of traffic. Level 3’s proposal would “use Level 3’s own IP backbone to carry content right to the edge of the Comcast local Internet access markets where the substantial majority of Comcast’s subscribers reside, at no charge to Comcast.” Level 3 has stated that the meeting of the engineers does not mean that the dispute is near resolution, because Comcast appears to reserve the right to charge Level 3 for the delivery of traffic.
Other companies have commented on the dispute. For example, AT&T has criticized Level 3 in a blog post, pointing to Level 3’s termination of a contract with Cogent when Cogent increased the amount of traffic it sent to Level 3.
- Level 3’s FAQ is available here
- Comcast’s FAQ is available here
- Level 3’s recent ex parte is available here
- Comcast’s recent ex parte is available here
- AT&T’s blog post is available here.
A government watchdog group in France has found that Google accounts for 90 percent of searches in France and that Google has a “dominant” position in online advertising. The study was requested by the French government, and although it has no present legal implication, the President of the watchdog group said that the study should be a warning to Google that it could face antitrust complaints. Google called the study “flawed” because it does not take into account the competition created by advertisers’ choice of online and offline formats for advertising.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski gave two speeches this past week. The first was at the FCC’s “Generation Mobile” forum on December 14, 2010, where he touted the benefits of digital literacy and broadband, but highlighted the dangers of distracting technology. On December 15, 2010, the Chairman spoke at the National Press Club on the release of the Communications Workers of America’s “Speed Matters” Report. He stated that the Open Internet rules will increase the speed of broadband as well as create jobs by fostering broadband investment. The text of the speeches are available here and here.