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Comcast sues FCC to evade net neutrality

updated 03:30 pm EDT, Thu September 4, 2008

Comcast Sues FCC

Cable Internet provider Comcast on Thursday sued the US Federal Communications Commission to try and block the government body's net neutrality order, which requires that the company avoid discriminating against particular types of Internet traffic when managing its network. Comcast executive VP David Cohen describes the suit as an attempt to challenge what he claims is an "absence of pre-existing legally enforceable standards" that would require Comcast to obey the FCC's ruling.

The FCC in 2005 issued a decree that specifically recommended an open Internet but which at the time was not immediately legally binding. In recent months, the FCC has increasingly turned to the decree as a guiding principle and drew from it in its decision to require open access for the winning bidders in a particular section of the 700MHz wireless spectrum auction, which is set to determine the future of American mobile data.

The complaint is unspecific about how Comcast will contest the order but is believed to stem from the provider's insistence that its previous management method, which throttled and broke connections for BitTorrent and some peer-to-peer traffic, was "reasonable." Critics have charged that the method unfairly punished legitimate businesses by slowing or even halting the delivery of media and software, such as for Vuze's video platform.

FCC officials have declined to comment so far on the case, though the organization is known to have some legal grounding in Comcast's past behavior. The cable service is known to have deliberately misled the public by at first denying the existence of its anti-BitTorrent filtering, only admitting the existence of the technique when third party investigations made the practice clear.

The company is also so far choosing to comply with the FCC's decision regardless of the trial and has announced a 250GB universal cap that at present doesn't exempt any traffic, including that for the company's own services.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. George3

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +1

    Coming Election winds

    They must feel a Republican win coming in November. Expect more of this from U.S. corporations with McSame Pain in the Whitehouse.

  1. rvhernandez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    +2

    Cable Company = Evil

    This has nothing to do with politics. The cable companies have always offered sub-par customer service.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007

    +1

    No legally enforceable

    standards? I'm pretty sure you can't lie about the communications related product you sell. FCC has jurisdiction in such claims.

    "The cable service is known to have deliberately misled the public by at first denying the existence of its anti-BitTorrent filtering, only admitting the existence of the technique when third party investigations made the practice clear."

    If they don't want to open up the bittorrent filter, then just pay all of your existing internet access customers 1.5 billion dollars.. EACH!

    "Pick your plan!"

  1. slider

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +2

    Oh Yes

    Poke the Bear in the zoo.

    Even if CC won, they should worry about future ventures requiring FCC approval. While the FCC as an entity can't do anything showing some kind of revenge, the FCC is make up of people, that CAN choose not to look the other way, or look a little harder when CC say tries to merge a company or when it's challenged as a monopoly.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +2

    I HATE Comcast!!!!

    Comcast is a deceptive, manipulative corporation that would rather throttle traffic than upgrade their network. When FIOS comes to my area I am ditching Comcast for GOOD.

    I hope Comcast executives get fined and jailed for what they're doing. I tell everyone I know to avoid Comcast at all costs. They are crooks and liars. Bottom line.

  1. robttwo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005

    -3

    george3=a******

    See above.

    Doofuses.

  1. horvatic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002

    +1

    Comcast SUCKS! Go FCC!!!

    Anyone on Comcast should really ditch them ASAP!!!!!
    They are in the internet service business yet now they're trying to limit that service because they want everyone to watch the shows on there cable network and NOT ONLINE!!! That's what it's all about, and I'm sure there are movie companies that are paying big money to have this limit happen. I say Go FCC, and I hope they win in court and put Comcast in there place!!

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