Feeds

FCC pelts Comcast with rotten veg

Order, order

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Having put the company in the stocks two weeks ago, the FCC heaped a load of rotten vegetables over US cable giant Comcast yesterday.

The regulator issued its order in a case raised by political activist group Free Press and P2P startup Vuze. The FCC ruled that Comcast's use of RST packets violated FCC policy. The decision split the FCC down the middle - but the language here is more emphatic than ever.

"In short, they were not simply managing their network; they had arbitrarily picked an application and blocked their subscribers’ access to it," the FCC concludes.

The decision set a historic precedent for regulating packet networks, and not surprisingly much of the document (pdf) is devoted to a justification of why the FCC has the authority to intervene.

The FCC cites seven parts of the Communications Act, including the original 1934 declaration of "regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire" from the original 1934 Act which established the regulator in the first place. For example, Comcast has argued that the judgement violates the regulator's disclosure (rule making) obligations. The regulator responded that it has often set policy by issuing a judgement first, then deriving the rules from that judgement.

Freetard hero Professor Lawrence Lessig issued his own judgement welcoming the FCC order. For Lessig, Comcast was a threat to the pirate utopia of the internet - and had introduced a snake into the garden of Eden:

"By secretly adding a layer of secret sauce into the Internet that interferes with legitimate applications and network services, Comcast has injured the value of the Internet to other innovators," wrote Lessig.

So media and entertainment businesses must go broke creating content for the internet - and network businesses must go broke delivering it.

Whatever you say about his logic, you can't fault his consistency. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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 threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.
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.
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.