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Buying Big Corporate Just Helps Things to get Worse

Today, reports indicate that Verizon Wireless reduced connection speeds for mobile subscribers accessing streaming video services as part of a “video optimization” systems test. The company issued no warnings to consumers prior to testing, but claims “the customer video experience was not affected”. Verizon has also stated that it applied the same speed cap to its own affiliated video service, Go90.

The Federal Communications Commission’s existing net neutrality rules generally do not permit broadband providers to impose speed caps based on source or application -- a violation referred to as “throttling.” The rules do, however, allow for reasonable network management. As part of a report on Zero Rating released in the final days of the Obama Administration, FCC staff set out relevant criteria to evaluate whether practices like “video optimization” violate the no-throttling rule or if they are “reasonable network management”. On February 3, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai rescinded the report.