Data Foundry Announces it has Filed Comments for the FCC Notice of Inquiry on Broadband Internet Access

Jul 16, 2010

Austin, TX – July 16, 2010 – Data Foundry, a leading provider of wholesale and retail data center outsourcing, colocation, and disaster recovery services, today announces it has filed comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on Broadband Internet Access in support of the reclassification of the transmission components of broadband Internet access as “telecommunications service.”

The reclassification would mean that the transmission component would once again be subject to the consumer and competitive safeguards provided by the common carrier rules found in Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

Data Foundry also filed comments stating it does not agree with the retail approach to identifying the transmission component suggested by the Commission in the NOI. The retail approach would necessarily result in regulation of the higher layers of the Internet, and not just the basic physical network layers used for broadband Internet access. Regulating the higher layer functions such as IP and TCP would result in Voice Over IP (VoIP) and IPTV also being classified as regulated transmission services. Instead, Data Foundry recommends that the Commission incorporate the approach that has successfully worked for the first 20 years of the Internet’s existence which requires facility based providers of broadband Internet access to offer at wholesale, on a common carrier basis, a transmission component that consists of only Layer 1 and Layer 2 of the OSI network model.

Making this important change to the classification of the transmission components of broadband Internet access will ensure that regulation is appropriately directed at the essential element, which is the physical transmission network, and not at the functions or services that can be provided independent of that transmission. Re-instating the successful wholesale model that allowed the creation of the Internet will once again facilitate innovation, promote competition, and allow market mechanisms to work effectively. This reclassification will also return the expectation of privacy to global Internet services by legally restricting, under the rules of common carriage, Internet access providers from performing Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), or otherwise monitoring or surveilling the content of users’ communications without express consent unless a proper law enforcement wiretap order has been issued.

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