CNS wants Time Warner Cable to carry its traffic for free. But TWC is telling CNS's chief executive, Barry Bahrami, that his company doesn't qualify for what's called a "settlement-free" deal.
"TWC is acting as gatekeeper and degrading our ability to exercise free expression," Bahrami writes in the complaint. "TWC’s management policy is restricting the open exchange of Internet traffic."
TWC has said that its behavior is consistent with industry standards and that it's confident the FCC will reject Bahrami's claims.
It's unclear how much traction Bahrami will get with the commission. His argument is that Time Warner Cable has violated the FCC's rules against paid prioritization, or the tactic where Internet providers charge a fee to selectively speed up certain Web sites. That behavior was labeled illegal under the FCC's net neutrality rules.
But that part of the FCC's rules only cover the so-called "last mile" between a consumer's device and his Internet provider. It doesn't address the part of the Internet where Time Warner Cable and Bahrami are having their dispute. So the FCC could find that, in fact, TWC hasn't broken any rules after all.