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New America Raises Concerns on Slicing and Net Neutrality

A representative of the Open Technology Institute (OTI) at New America complained that T-Mobile wants to use network slicing as an excuse to exempt from net neutrality rules any specialized application or service that a mobile carrier delivers. The argument…

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was made during a Jan. 26 meeting with an aide to FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. In a December filing, T-Mobile defined slicing as offering “customized, software-defined, virtual networks -- or ‘slices’ -- that are each logically separated and individually optimized to meet the specific needs of each application.” The problem is T-Mobile “leaps” from the fact that network slices can be customized to create non-broadband internet access services “for a purpose that cannot function on the regular internet (e.g., factory automation, auto safety, precision agriculture) to the general claim that anything a mobile carrier labels as a ‘slice’ of its network should by definition be treated as a non-BIAS data service and be exempt from the open internet rules,” OTI said in a filing posted Wednesday in docket 23-320. T-Mobile said in December that “with the advent of network slicing that can offer applications tailor-made to particular use cases, the services broadband providers can support are richer and more diverse than ever.” OTI made similar arguments in a meeting with an aide to Commissioner Anna Gomez, a second filing said.