Weighing in on an interconnection dispute between Comcast and Level 3 Communications in which Level 3 accused the nation’s largest cable operator of erecting a “toll booth” on the Internet, Global Crossing (GC) called on the FCC last Friday to consider extending access charge rules that currently apply to wireline and wireless phone carriers to broadband Internet service providers (ISPs). The dispute between Comcast and Level 3 arose last November after Level 3 was selected as the primary distribution network for the fast-growing Netflix online video service. To handle the resulting strain on network bandwidth, Comcast requested recurring fees from Level 3, but Level 3 refused Comcast’s demand and charged that the requested fees violate the FCC’s Open Internet policy. In an ex parte filing last Friday, GC argued that broadband ISPs such as Comcast hold a “termination monopoly” over end-user customers just like competitive local exchange (CLEC) or wireless carriers. As such, parties sending Internet traffic to the end user “have no alternative but to deliver it” to the ISP that is chosen by the end user and, “just like CLECs in the terminating access context, can then take advantage of that situation by assessing discriminatory charges that have no relationship to their costs.” According to GC, “the predicament faced by parties that send traffic to a broadband ISP’s subscribers today is substantially similar to those which the Commission has not hesitated to remedy in the past.” GC thus urged the FCC to intervene in the Comcast-Level 3 dispute by “applying well-established principles on which [the FCC] has consistently relied to govern the exchange of traffic in the intercarrier compensation context.”