With a month left before net neutrality complaints can be filed to the Federal Communications Commission, Internet service providers are continuing to sign agreements to prevent network congestion and a potential scolding from regulators.
The latest agreement was announced today between AT&T and Level 3, an Internet backbone operator that has accused broadband providers like AT&T of not upgrading interconnection points, allowing Internet performance for consumers to be degraded. A month ago, Level 3 told National Journal that it was “evaluating our options” and “still experiencing interconnection point congestion as some large consumer ISPs continue to attempt to leverage control over access to their users to extract arbitrary tolls.”
While the FCC’s net neutrality order bans paid prioritization of traffic after it enters providers’ networks, it doesn’t ban payments for interconnection, which happens at the edges of the network. However, the FCC set up a complaint process so it can decide whether particular demands are unreasonable and prod companies into providing enough capacity to prevent Internet slowdowns. Complaints can be filed beginning June 12.
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