The Federal Communications Commission this evening formally began to examine three controversial practices of telecommunications carriers. It issued notices asking for comment on:
The petition by Public Knowledge, Free Press and others asking that text messaging and short codes are subject to the Commission's non-discrimination rules. Comments are due Feb. 13, 2008 with replies due March 14, 2008. This is docket WT 08-7. The petition was spurred by Verizon's initial failure to supply NARAL Pro Choice America with short codes to allow the organization to send text messages to its members. The FCC notice is here.
The petition filed by Free Press, Public Knowledge and others asking that the practice of degrading peer-to-peer traffic violates the Commission's Internet policy statement and are not reasonable network management. Comments are due Feb. 13, 2008, with replies Feb. 28. This petition will be considered under docket WC 07-52. This petition was based on the practices of cable companies to throttle peer-to-peer traffic. The Comcast item is here.
The petition filed by Vuze for a Commission rulemaking to clarify what constitutes “reasonable network management.” The docket and comment deadlines are the same as for the peer-to-peer item. This petition was filed by a company that wants to offer high-speed video services over broadband. The Vuze item is here.
The following is the statement by Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn:
“We are grateful to Chairman Martin and his colleagues for starting the public debate on what rights consumers will have in an increasingly complex technological future. These inquiries will go a long way to setting out a road map for determining who will control the Internet, and whether texting will be seen in the same light as wireless voice services. We look forward to participating in these dockets, and we anticipate that at the end of the day, consumers will have more control over their Internet and wireless experiences than they do now.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.