Feeds

FCC chief wants to throttle Comcast

Enforcement order on agenda

Boost IT visibility and business value

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking aim at Comcast for violating the agency’s guidelines on providing open internet access by blocking P2P traffic across its network and keeping schtum about the policy.

The agency is investingating Comcast's torrent-busting activities following a complaint from Free Press, a non-profit advocate of "network neutrality".

FCC chairman Kevin Martin told AP yesterday: "We found that Comcast's actions in this instance violated our principles." These require ISPs to provide open access to the network, “subject to reasonable network management”.

Martin has concluded that Comcast arbitrarily blocked filesharing apps, regardless of the amount of traffic they accounted for, and was not open with its customers about what it was doing.

Martin will circulate a recommendation on enforcement action, which the Commission will vote on next month. The order would demand Comcast cease blocking P2P traffic, disclose details of its actions to the commission, and tell customers about its future network management plans.

The FCC is not a bland panel of technocrats - politics and lobbying means Martin is not guaranteed to get his way with fellow commissioners.

Comcast has already gone on the attack, arguing that the agency has never given any indication of what it means by “reasonable network management”.

According to the AP, a company spokesperson denied Comcast blocked content or servives, but took “carefully limited measures” to manage traffic and ensure all customers got a quality service.

The spokesperson denied that it blocks internet content or services and that the "carefully limited measures that Comcast takes to manage traffic on its broadband network are a reasonable part" of the company's strategy to ensure all customers receive quality service.

It is unclear if this applies to previous management techniques, or the throttling techniques it is currently experimenting with in Pennsylvania and Virginia. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.