Saturday, August 2, 2008

FCC TELLS COMCAST TO BEHAVE

Internet News - The Federal Communications Commission voted to rebuke the nation's largest cable provider for slowing certain Internet traffic on its network and failing to provide adequate notice to subscribers. By a 3-2 vote, the FCC approved an enforcement order that will require Comcast (to change the way it manages traffic, and submit a compliance plan to the commission by the end of the year detailing those changes. The ruling does not impose any fines. "Comcast was delaying subscribers' downloads and blocking their uploads," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said. "It was doing so 24/7, regardless of the amount of congestion on the network or how small the file might be. Today, the commission tells Comcast to stop, and to disclose to its subscribers how it is going to manage traffic on a going-forward basis. We therefore take another important step to ensure that all consumers have unfettered access to the Internet."

The outcome of today's vote, though expected, may stand as a milestone in the debate over Net neutrality, the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. Several attempts to write Net neutrality into law have failed in Congress, and until today, the FCC's action on the issue had been limited to holding hearings and seeking public comment.

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