When Genachowski unveiled its ‘third way’ to justify network neutrality regulations, we heard a great deal from the major service providers and of course it wasn’t terribly favorable. However, today the FCC’s plan got some support from the leaders of a coalition of major competitive service providers that focus on US business markets. They are XO Holdings (news, filings), TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings), and PAETEC (news, filings), Cbeyond (NASDAQ:CBEY, news, filings), Earthlink’s New Edge Networks, Cavalier, Integra, Broadview, One Communications, Covad, Yourtel America, and Pac-West.
We should note that few of these actually have any consumer last mile exposure, and those that do (e.g. Covad) do it over leased connections from the ILECs and are de-emphasizing that business anyway and have expressed no interest in shaping traffic or public whippings of bandwidth hogs or reasonable network management or whatever it is that the ILECs want to keep open as an option. Therefore none are directly affected by network neutrality regulations. Secondly, this group of providers has, to put it bluntly, not been particularly successful over the past decade in getting the FCC to do much of anything. So in a way, it’s a freebie for these guys – they have little at risk and can perhaps just enjoy the ride while making nice with the Chairman.
But of course, that doesn’t mean these folks aren’t serious about their support, and the FCC is probably glad to have it. The whole thing is a jumbled mess to me anyway, and it doesn’t look like that will change no matter who writes the rules – in the short term anyway.