The company admits it’s had letters of inquiry from the FCC, "regarding complaints that the company actively interferes with its subscribers’ Internet traffic," says Associated Press.
But don’t get too excited, recommended Broadband Reports several days back.
"Sure, we’re going to investigate and make sure that no consumer is going to be blocked," it has FCC chief Kevin Martin telling CES conference goers. "The question is going to arise: Are they reasonable network practices? When they have reasonable network practices, they should disclose those and make those public."
But, "If you’re a network neutrality supporter eager to see someone clamp down on application throttling, you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for the FCC," observes Broadband Report, noting:
The policy statement (pdf) that guides the FCC’s hand in matters of network neutrality is not law, and is intentionally vague enough to allow providers to get away with anything short of an outright traffic blockade. ISP lawyers can effectively argue that all forms of application throttling constitute ‘reasonable network management.’ In Comcast’s dealings with the press, they’ve been very aware of these legal semantics, stating that the company is simply delaying traffic, not blocking it — and for the betterment of the Comcast network.
So, "it’s highly unlikely that Kevin Martin will be the man to force ISPs to come clean," says the story, adding:
"While it’s true that Martin has gained a reputation for being an enemy of the cable industry, it’s unlikely that he’ll take any serious action against Comcast. Martin already knows that Comcast’s actions don’t violate his agency’s own, intentionally wimpy guidelines. It’s also unlikely he’ll pass new regulation forcing carriers to reveal network practices, because it would upset his friends at AT&T and Verizon.
"The end result? Martin’s ‘investigation’ will either continue indefinitely, or it will find that Comcast’s throttling of upstream bandwidth is reasonable."
And, "If we’re really lucky, the FCC will issue a tersely worded press release that suggests that Comcast come clean about their traffic shaping — and include at least some specifics somewhere in the company’s jungle of fine print."
blocking hi-speed file sharing – FCC grills Comcast over file share claims, January 9, 2008
Associated Press – FCC Asks Comcast About Internet Filter, January 14, 2008
Broadband Reports – Don’t Get Too Excited About The FCC’s Comcast ‘Investigation’, January 9, 2008
Use free p2pnet newsfeeds for your site. It’s really easy!
Subscribe to p2pnet.net | | rss feed: http://p2pnet.net/p2p.rss | | Mobile – http://p2pnet.net/index-wml.php
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details. Download here.