NCTA to Wheeler: 'We'll help you grasp peering … which is not net neutrality'

As he investigates peering arrangements made between large online video distributors like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Internet service providers, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has been offered help in grasping some of the key issues from the National Cable Telecommunications Association.

"We agree with Chairman Wheeler that Internet interconnection and peering issues are not net neutrality issues," said the NCTA in a prepared statement obtained by Multichannel News. "We look forward to assisting the Commission in better understanding this vibrant, competitive marketplace."

The helpful offer from the pay TV industry organization came Friday, just after Wheeler announced that the Federal Communications Commission had obtained the interconnection agreements Netflix had made with Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and is looking at similar peering deals involving other online video distribution companies.

"We are making inquiries across the board," Wheeler said. "For example, if we are talking about video as being a driving force in this it would be kind of silly not to include YouTube, wouldn't it?"

Wheeler held firm to the FCC's recently espoused ethos that peering is a related issue to net neutrality, but not a sibling living under the same roof.

"We need to parse the process, and there is the delivery from peering to the consumer's computer, then there is what happens at the traffic exchange point," he noted. "Those are driven by different technology realities and perhaps different economic realities. What we are trying to do is get to the bottom of that. But I think that they are two different things." 

For more:
- read this Multichannel News story

Related links:
AT&T's Cicconi: Netflix shouldn't complain about the peering deals it has agreed to
Verizon FiOS speed drops in Netflix ISP index, despite peering deal
AT&T's Cicconi says net neutrality debate feels like 'Groundhog Day'