That didn’t take long. Time Warner Cable (TWC) will reportedly be the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) to be hit with a net neutrality complaint under the net neutrality rules -- that went into effect last week -- after being accused of charging a webcam provider unreasonable rates to broadcast streaming video.
Commercial Network Services (CNS) plans to file a federal complaint “in the next couple days” against Time Warner, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. TWC is intentionally slowing web traffic to CNS, a company that operates a number of live video feeds of Fourth of July fireworks celebrations. A lawsuit would be the first filed against an ISP since the Federal Communications Commission enacted net neutrality rules to prevent bandwidth providers from slowing, blocking or throttling traffic in an attempt to blackmail content providers like Netflix (or CNS) into paying a higher fee.
“This is not traffic we’re pushing to Time Warner; this is traffic that their paying Internet access subscribers are asking [for] from us,” CNS Chief Executive Officer Barry Bahrami told the Post. He accused Time Warner of committing a “blatant violation” of the FCC rules.
Bahrami told the International Business Times the company is not yet filing a lawsuit against TWC, "although I have not ruled suing them out."
Time Warner said in a statement to the Post that Bahrami’s claims are without merit because his company falls under a “peering deal,” a voluntary settlement in which no money changes hands and both companies agree to exchange large amounts of traffic at multiple locations throughout the U.S.
“TWC’s interconnection practices are not only ‘just and reasonable’ as required by the FCC, but consistent with the practices of all major ISPs and well-established industry standards,” TWC said Tuesday. CNS responded that it does not qualify to enter into a peering deal with TWC.
News of the impending suit came on the same day that the White House asked members of Congress not to use their annual budget proposal for “delaying or preventing implementation of the FCC’s net neutrality order, which creates a level playing field for innovation and provides important consumer protections on broadband service.”
Correction: A previous version of this story erroneously stated that Bahrami and Commercial Network Services is suing Time Warner Cable. While that's possible in the future, Bahrami said in an email "first we are starting with a FCC complaint." The changes are reflected in the current story.