Genachowski not taking Comcast's side in Level 3 traffic dispute

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has not closed the net neutrality door on Level 3 Communications' (Nasdaq: LVLT) network traffic dispute with Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), despite what some others believe.

Genachowski, testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications said that net neutrality rules don't "change anything with existing peering arrangements," leading some to believe he was dismissing Level 3's traffic management case against Comcast.

"The Comcast/Level 3 dispute is not about a peering agreement because Level 3 does not have a peering agreement with Comcast," said Robert Yates, senior vice president in a statement distributed to the media. "It would be inaccurate to take Chairman Genachowski's statement ... and turn it into an implication ... that the Open Internet Order does not relate to the Comcast/Level 3 dispute."

Level 3, Yates continued, "was encouraged by Chairman Genachowski's observation that the Open Internet Order applies to Internet service to consumers and small businesses, the very service that Comcast is using to extract a fee from content owners and their carriers as a condition to delivering the content that Comcast's subscribers request."

Karl Bode of DSLReports had another take on the comments, noting that "Genachowski's statement seems to suggest he agrees with Comcast's take on the matter about this being an ordinary peering fight," Bode wrote.

For more:
- see this FCC statement (PDF)
- and this DSLReports story

Related articles:
Level 3-Comcast dispute could test net neutrality rules
FCC could take on Comcast-Level 3 dispute, but NCTA chief says don't bother