Yesterday I said I was looking for the full text of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's comment before Congress about the Level3/Comcast dispute, rather than the same three and six word snippets everyone copied from the WSJ article. Well, here it is:
Rep Blackburn: Okay, let’s talk about peering and interconnectivity. Ah, we know that these arrangements have never been regulated, and the FCC’s net neutrality order says that the rules do not cover peering. So, Mr. Chairman, do you believe the Commission’s new net neutrality order and its underlying rules govern the Level 3/Comcast dispute?
Chairman Genachowski: Well, as you said, the order says that it doesn’t change anything with respect to existing peering arrangements. It applies to Internet Access Service provided to consumers and small businesses. You’re referring to a dispute that’s occurring outside the commission, a commercial dispute. I hope those parties settle it and resolve it, but it’s not something that we have facts and data on. I do think the order speaks for itself in the way that you suggest.
Typical bureaucrat-nonspeak really, not definitive but certainly not helpful to Level 3.
But Level 3's point is that it's not a peering agreement that's at stake, and hence the comment wasn't even that relevant. That's a difficult argument to push in the press though, because this dispute doesn't fit in any existing box and hence doesn't really have a name and classification to latch onto. That's why it's important though, it's new and thus may set a precedent.
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