Level 3 Communications, a central partner in the Netflix online movie service, accused Comcast on Monday of charging a new fee that puts internet video companies at a competitive disadvantage, reports the New York Times. Level 3, which helps to deliver Netflix’s streaming movies, said Comcast had effectively erected a tollbooth that “threatens the open internet,” and indicated that it would seek government intervention. Comcast quickly denied that the clash had anything to do with network neutrality, instead calling it “a simple commercial dispute.” The dispute highlighted the growing importance of internet video delivery–an area that some people say needs to be monitored more closely by regulators. Net neutrality, which posits that internet traffic should be free of any interference from network operators like Comcast, is thought to be on the December agenda of the Federal Communications Commission…

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staff and wire services reports