But when FCC officials were asked at a briefing whether deals like the Comcast/Netflix peering arrangement would come under scrutiny under the new rules, the short answer was no. The rules, in other words, are still focused on ISP-to-consumer connections, not arrangements between ISPs and content providers.
4. This potentially affects everyone
Right now, these types of fast-lane arrangements are most visible in the dealings between Comcast and Netflix. But nothing says providers couldn't expand on the idea — for instance, by levying fees for faster access in Amazon's cloud services. Again, the FCC's response to such matters would be on its own time, putting smaller companies without the luxury of lavish legal teams (or lobbying apparatus) at a disadvantage.
The FCC will solicit feedback on the new rules until May 15. But until the rules explicitly recognize how preferential back-end deals between providers can be as problematic as front-end rate hikes, they will not provide much protection.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.