Network equipment makers including Cisco, Sun Microsystems and Corning, he said, need clarity about the rules so they can be confident in investing their networks. At the same time, services like Ebay, Monster and Microsoft "need certainty to compete down the line to be able to innovate on the edge."
"It's vital the FCC does this in a way that doesn't write a set of rules that isn't so rigid that it affects the marketplace," Garfield said.
In its comments (pdf), ITI said the FCC should evaluate every alleged net neutrality violation on a case-by-case basis.
"The FCC cannot posibly anticipate all future circumstances, and it is entirely possible that conduct that may appear to be harmful today will in fact be beneficial to consumers in light of future circumstances," the filing said.
It is also in favor of managed services, which it says should be allowed unless it is proven that the services are "anticompetitive or harmful to consumers."
Garfield said the two sides of the debate--once separated by a wide gulf of disagreement--are slowly meeting in the middle.
"Being for or against net neutrality just doesn't cover it anymore," he said. "Everyone has a much more nuanced perspective, as evidenced by a wide array of folks being able to come to agreement. There's a growing consensus around these issues."
January 22, 2010, 12:45 pm