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April 07, 2010

Telecom Service Providers, Organizations Weigh In on Net Neutrality News

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor

Just one day after a three-judge panel unanimously tossed out the FCC's (News - Alert) August 2008 cease and desist order against Comcast, a number of heavyweights in telecom and tech weighed in.

According to a statement from Markham Erickson, executive director of the Open Internet Coalition, "Today's D.C. Circuit decision in Comcast (News - Alert) a dangerous situation, one where the health and openness of the Internet is being held hostage by the behavior of the major telco and cable providers," Erickson said. "The Court has taken an aggressive position, rejecting the FCC's legal authority to implement broadband Internet policy under Title I of the Communications Act. The legal challenge to Title I authority by Comcast has created an outcome where the FCC has no option but to immediately open a proceeding to clarify its authority over broadband network providers under Title II."

The Open Internet Coalition represents consumers, grassroots organizations, and businesses advocating for net neutrality, TMCnet reported.

Parul P. Desai, vice president of Media Access Project, echoed some of the coalition's sentiments, saying he was disappointed in the court's finding that the Commission did not make the case for its authority to take action against Comcast's blocking of BitTorrent (News - Alert), TMCnet reported

For companies like Amtel (News - Alert), a provider of telecom expense management services, a loss for net neutrality could mean higher telecom costs all around for its customers.

"It's entirely possible that decisions like that of the district court in D.C. will mean higher telecom costs for companies that require priority handling of their Internet data traffic," Pankaj Gupta, founder and CEO of Amtel, a provider of telecom expense management services told TMCnet. "Enterprise-level companies and organizations already feel the pinch of out-of-control telecom and mobile expenses. So, telecom and mobile expense management companies like Amtel, with its next gen telecom information management system, will need to re-double our efforts to respond to those already high telecom costs, and offset, to some extent, any impact on cost that the district court decision might have."

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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