Hollywood: Specialized Services Are Consumer Friendly

Says FCC should take special network management issues into account
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Hollywood
studios told the FCC Thursday that if consumers are going to get
quality video or Voice over IP service over broadband, the Commission
will need
to refrain from applying nondiscrimination rules on specialized
services.

And while it
stopped short of saying the FCC should not apply expanded and codified
network neutrality rules to wireless broadband, it did say there were
special network management issues the Commission
needed to take into account.

That came in
its reply comments to the Commission, which asked for input on whether
it should apply net neuatrality rules to managed services and wireless
broadband.

The Motion
Picture Association of America left do doubt it was categorically
opposed to the former. "The Commission should clarify that commercial
agreements for enhanced performance will remain unregulated,"
it said.

The studios
pointed out that there is a growing demand for online video from a new
generation that is mobile and hungry for ever-more content, which
requires the network prioritization--say video over
e-mail--that prevents the jitter and delay that degrades the video
experience.

"Tech-savvy
consumers - particularly the next generation of youth in this country -
are increasingly devouring content on an assortment of devices and in
limitless locations, " MPAA told the Commission.
"Demand is growing for online libraries of full-length films,
interactive features, competitive gaming with high-tech graphics, live
sporting events in HD, and many other bandwidth-hungry services. Based
on a recent study, we also know that consumers are very
interested in viewing television content over the Internet. Yet over
half of the respondents indicated frustration with the lack of
smoothness associated with streaming video."

The studios
also argued against requiring a certain percentage of the pipe be set
aside for public internet traffic, saying a fixed requirement would be
"arbitrary and unfair." That set-aside has been
suggested as a way to insure that networks do not favor those
specialized services to the detriment of Internet traffic.

As for whether wireless broadband should get a carveout from any network
neutrality regs, the studios did not take a position, but said that
wireless broadband has "unique challenges" given that its spectrum is
shared, the number of users around the nearest
cell site fluctuates and that it has major spectrum constraints at the
same time its services are getting exponentially more popular.

"To ensure a high-quality viewing experience, therefore,
wireless providers must be extra vigilant when managing their
networks,37 especially when particular devices or applications result in
excessive bandwidth
consumption," said MPAA, leaving the answer unspoken but implied that the FCC needed to give them that flexibility.

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