Indies Want Video Distribution Parity on Specialized Services

Argue that applying net neutrality rules would preserve incentives to invest in both Internet and competitive private offerings
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Independent
producers told the FCC Tuesday that it should apply network neutrality
rules, or a reasonable facsimile, to specialized services, arguing that
there is no "signficant evidence" that to
do so would deter innovation or investment.

Instead, the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) said in comments to the FCC, applying the rules would be preserving incentives to invest in both Internet and competitive private offerings. IFTA also said that those principles must be applied to wireless
broadband.

"[R]egulations
must be developed to ensure that specialized services do not supplant
the network capacity and resources for broadband Internet access," said
IFTA. "Essentially, such regulations must
provide all of the safeguards embodied in the open Internet principles
sought to be applied to broadband Internet access, with narrowly
tailored exceptions."

IFTA wants
the FCC to require ISPs to meet a minimum level of bandwidth allocation
to general Internet broadband, to prevent them from favoring
specialized
services. That would include guaranteed bandwidth and performance
parity between video subscription services on the public Internet and
via private specialized services.

Producers
also want a guarantee that offerings on non-vertically integrated
specialized services must get the same terms and conditions as
vertically integrated ones. The producers are afraid that
ISPS with co-owned content libraries to offer on IPTV or VOD
specialized services could squeeze out independents via exclusive deals.

IFTA said
that if the FCC does not apply the same regs to specialized services,
it should provide separate reg that assure the same safeguards, which
sounded on first reading like a distinction with little difference.

Producers
said that the FCC, not Congress, was in the best position "to lay out a
balanced framework for an open Internet," given the failure of a
congressional attempt at a compromise bill.

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