F.C.C. to Investigate Agreements Between Content Companies and Net Service Providers

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission is looking into the relationships between content companies like Netflix and Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon to see whether consumers are getting the speed and quality of service they are being promised. Tom Wheeler, the F.C.C. chairman, said Friday that the decision to conduct the inquiry resulted in part from more than 19,000 public comments submitted to the F.C.C. asking it to look at the agreements and how they affect net neutrality — the concept that Internet service providers should not favor any content over another in delivering service to Internet users.

The F.C.C. separately is studying net neutrality with the goal of developing new rules to police it. Two previous attempts by the F.C.C. to do so were blocked by a federal appeals court. Netflix recently has accused Comcast of allowing congestion on its network to interfere with Netflix’s ability to deliver content to customers effectively. That led to an agreement by Netflix to pay Comcast for direct access to its network, a deal that many net neutrality supporters said was a violation of the principal, and one that Netflix quickly turned around and called unfair.

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