US regulator to protect online video QoE with net neutrality

Editor | 20-02-2014

With reports in the US that some over-the-top (OTT) services, mainly Netflix, are being throttled by ISPs, US broadcast and telecoms regulator, the FCC, is proposing new measures to prevent such things happening.

In a statement, chairman Tom Wheeler said that the FCC will propose new rules for Internet services that will meet US legal requirements for preventing improper blocking of and discrimination in traffic. Indeed Wheeler said that it was incumbent upon the FCC that it took a lead in ensuring genuine transparency in how Internet service providers manage traffic, and enhancing competition. Wheeler cited the case of Verizon vs. FCC in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which invited the Commission to act to preserve a free and open Internet.

Preserving the Internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace is an important responsibility of the agency, Wheeler added.

Wheeler proposes that new rules enforce and enhance the Open Internet Order’s transparency rule which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals and fulfils the goals of the “no blocking” and non-discrimination rules.

Referencing the issues of the quality of some online video sites being diminished, Wheeler added: “Major Internet service providers have indicated that they will continue to honour the safeguards articulated in the 2010 Open Internet Order. That’s the right and responsible thing to do, and we take them up on their commitment – which will continue to provide protection for the open Internet until new rules are put in place.”