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July 9, 2014

4G operators reveal they are eager to kill off net neutrality

80% of operators readying optimised networks, waiting for FCC to hammer final nail.

By Ben Sullivan

A survey conducted at LTE World Summit, an industry 4G get together held in Amsterdam, has revealed that 69% of operators are ready to end net neutrality and believe that they should be allowed to offer a fast lane to customers who pay more.

80% of the operators polled by Flash Networks also revealed that they are already set to optimise video data and adapt to new network conditions that allow them to charge more for prioritised content delivery.

Eyal Hilzenrat, Vice President of Product and Marketing at Flash Networks, said: "Our survey results demonstrate that operators recognise the need for mobile video and data optimization to stay competitive, and are continuously looking for acceleration technologies to enable them to speed up their LTE networks, and ultimately provide a better experience for subscribers."

That better experience, however, would come at a cost to subscribers if the plans to end net neutrality go ahead. In May, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to go ahead with plans to change net neutrality rules that would open up an Internet ‘fast lane’, allowing ISPs to prioritise the speed of traffic for firms that are paying more.

The FCC want to reclassify broadband services as a ‘telecommunications’ service, which would give the body the authority to treat ISPs as public utilities. This would allow for the regulation of network deployment and price discrimination.
Hilzenrat argued that it is also subscribers themselves who want to end net neutrality.

He said: "Subscribers are demanding a superior quality of experience (QoE) and hold the operator responsible for it; but, at the same time, they are giving operators the green light to do what needs to be done to improve QoE by approving of fast lanes for premium content."

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