Tuesday, August 19, 2008

FCC Releases Order to Comcast to End Discriminatory Network Management Practices

The FCC released its order requiring Comcast to end discriminatory network management practices. Specifically, the FCC is requiring Comcast within 30 days to disclose the details of their unreasonable network management practices, submit a compliance plan describing how it intends to stop these unreasonable management practices by the end of the year, and disclose to both the Commission and the public the details of the
network management practices that it intends to deploy following termination of its current practices. The order is posted online.


On August 1st, the FCC ruled that Comcast's management of its broadband Internet networks contravenes federal policies that protect the vibrant and open nature of the Internet. Specifically, the FCC concluded that by monitoring the content of its customers' traffic and selectively blocking certain peer-to-peer connections, Comcast unduly interfered with Internet users' right to access the lawful Internet content and to use the applications of their choice.


The issue was first brought to light by Comcast subscribers who noticed that they had problems using peer-to- peer applications, such as BitTorrent, over their Comcast broadband connections. The FCC noted that when challenged on the issue Comcast recast its public position several times. Furthermore, evidence suggests that Comcast's practice of blocking traffic has been widespread and that it interferes with peer-to-peer traffic regardless of the level of overall network congestion at the time and regardless of the time of day.http://www.fcc.gov

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