A Summary on the Comcast/FCC Net Neutrality Hearing

Posted on February 27, 2008 - 12:10pm.

Comcast Threatens the Open Internet – FCC Hears Complaints
Last summer, users of Comcast internet services reported cut-offs and significant decreases in their download speeds when they were sharing large content such as video, audio and data files using a peer-to-peer sharing application known as Bit Torrent (www.bittorrent.com).

Comcast denied doing this -- causing an outcry from people concerned with protecting an “open” Internet and (a now familiar term) “net neutrality”. National advocates (www.freepress.net and www.publicknowledge.org) filed a complaint with the FCC in November 2007, prompting the Commission to hold an “en banc” hearing to determine if Comcast violated the FCC’s Internet Policy Statement. The FCC’s statement cites four principles designed to protect “open networks” and guarantee consumers access to the content, applications, and services of their choice, as well as access to competition among network, applications, and content providers.

The six hour ‘en banc” hearing, held at Harvard Law School on Monday, was attended by several hundred people, many of whom were bussed in by Comcast as paid “seat warmers” (< a href="http://www.freepress.net/docs/paid_to_hold_seat.mp3" target="blank">http://www.freepress.net/docs/paid_to_hold_seat.mp3).

More than 100 people were not able to gain entry to provide legitimate testimony to the FCC. During the day long event that featured experts, advocates and internet users, FCC Chairman Martin acknowledged that broadband network operators have a legitimate need to manage the data flowing over their networks. But he said that "does not mean that they can arbitrarily block access to particular applications or services." He called for "transparency" in the way the companies manage their networks, and in the prices and services they provide.

For more Information, Articles & Blog Postings:

* Comcast’s Cohen on Hot Seat at FCC En Banc Hearing

Comcast Astroturfs the Old-Fashioned Way

FCC En Banc: Annals of the Battle for the Last Mile

* FCC Ready to Curb ISP Traffic Management

* Internet providers, FCC square off

* Comcast’s Cohen on Hot Seat at FCC En Banc Hearing

* F.C.C. Weighing Limits on Slowing Web Traffic

* FCC Says Internet Won't Be Hobbled

* FCC Head Says Action Possible on Web Limits

* Martin: Greater Transparency by Broadband Providers

* Net Neutrality: Up to the FCC?

* Comcast on Hot Seat at FCC Meeting

* The FCC, Comcast, and Net Neutrality

* Just An Online Minute... Markey: 'No Country for Old Bandwidths'

N.Y. Attorney General Subpoenas Comcast on Broadband

- Lauren Glen

( categories: Comcast | FCC | Net Neutrality )