Feeds

FCC chair unfazed by Comcast wall of nonsense

'If you hide it, is it reasonable?'

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Score one for Kevin Martin, the chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission. Clearly, he realizes that Comcast deserves a slap.

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported , Martin said he was "troubled" that the big-name American ISP "initially denied it was slowing or blocking its broadband Internet customers' access to a file-sharing peer-to-peer software application."

An independent researcher named Robb Topolski first accused Comcast of busting BitTorrents back in May, but the company spent several months refusing to acknowledge the practice, and even now, it only half-admits to the cold, hard facts.

"A hallmark of what should be seen as a reasonable business practice is certainly whether or not the people engaging in that practice are willing to describe it publicly," Martin proclaimed, during a speech at the Stanford University Law School.

Which means that Martin has separated the sense from the nonsense. As we've said before, the issue is not whether Comcast has a right to "reasonable network management". The issue is whether Comcast has a right to treat its customers like idiots.

The FCC has launched an official investigation into Comcast's BitTorrent busting, and last month, the commission hosted a public hearing on the matter. As part of its ongoing effort to reinvent reality, Comcast hired dozens of people to attend the hearing on its behalf - then told The Reg it hadn't.

Comcast sleeping meat puppets

Sleeping Comcast meat puppets

Martin didn't actually say that he would slap Comcast. And he still needs the approval of other FCC commissioners to do so. But you can bet it will happen. ®

Bootnote

With his speech, Martin also said he was pleased with the The Great American Wireless Auction. In auctioning off the so-called 700-MHz spectrum - a prime portion of the US airwaves - the FCC has raised over $20bn, and new commission rules have ensured a decent chunk of the spectrum will include an official "open access requirement."

Many have worried that the winning bidder will stop well short of providing access to any device and any application. But Martin says not to worry. The FCC will find ways of enforcing open access.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.