By: John Eggerton
In a Feb. 10 letter to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, more than three dozen of those said the balance of power is in favor of the edge providers, like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, which are not subject to the new rules beyond being able to complain about the conduct of Internet service providers, not smaller operators.
“Because we lack the incentive and ability to harm Internet edge providers, there is no basis for the Commission to reclassify our Internet service for the purpose of imposing any Title II common-carrier obligations,” they wrote, “but most particularly the core common-carrier requirements contained in Sections 201, 202 and 208.”
Those are the three that could conceivably allow the FCC to regulate rates through a case-by-case complaint procedure, they argue. They also say that even if this FCC does not do that, it is “cold comfort” since a future FCC could. They also point out that liability for violations through the complaint process, including the recovery of damages, is very troubling.
“Our ability to repay current debt obligations and raise capital at attractive rates could well be adversely affected if we lose control over our retail rates or the use of and access to our networks,” they said. “Because our rates must be set to recover costs, we would be forced to flow these additional costs of service through to our subscribers.”