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Comcast Stifles Future Video Competitor

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Created 10/19/2007 - 6:44pm

from: Free Press [1]

Comcast Stifles Future Video Competitor

From Free Press, October 19, 2007

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company and second-largest Internet service provider, is actively interfering with its users’ ability to access legal content through content-sharing technologies like BitTorrent. The Associated Press calls Comcast’s interference “the most drastic example yet of data discrimination by a U.S. Internet service provider.”

Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott issued the following statement:

“Comcast’s BitTorrent blocking is the canary in the coal mine for Net Neutrality — a clear example of an Internet service provider stifling innovation and free speech online. Cable and phone companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon should not be allowed to play gatekeeper over legal Internet content.

“The BitTorrent file-sharing model is on the cutting edge of innovation for online video distribution and the future of our media system. If you want content that isn’t available on Comcast’s cable system, the Internet is the place to go and this is the technology that is going to bring it to you. It’s no surprise that Comcast, whose primary business is video, is working to smother a growing competitor.

“Comcast’s deceptive tactics should cast serious doubt on their claims that blocking is the result of network capacity issues. Before reverting to these drastic and underhanded measures, the company should have taken the basic steps to inform their consumers about their bandwidth limitations.

“This incident is the latest in a pattern of bad behavior from the telephone and cable companies. This is a disturbing trend that validates all of the concerns of the Net Neutrality advocates. It is time for Congress to conduct a meaningful investigation through oversight hearings and pass laws that protect the free flow of ideas and commerce on the Internet.”

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