Comcast takes FCC to task and vice versa


Even more than that, it is taking the FCC to court, arguing that the Commission does not have the authority to impose conditions on its management of its internet services. IN the meantime, however, it will comply with an FCC order, and is seeking to cap individual usage levels to manage traffic volume, rather than give special handling to certain services, such as BitTorrrent – the company involved in setting off the controversy in the first place.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin commented, “I am disappointed by Comcast’s decision to appeal. When the Commission approved the Adelphia transaction, we put Comcast on notice that we would act upon complaints that the company was willfully blocking or degrading Internet content, and Comcast nonetheless chose to close on that deal. Now, little more than two years later, Comcast has gone to court to contest the Commission’s authority to act on precisely the type of complaint discussed in the Adelphia order. I am pleased Comcast will comply with the Commission’s Order and fully disclose to the Commission, the public, and its customers the company’s new network management practices. This should include the thresholds that will trigger any limits on customers’ access to bandwidth and the time periods when any such limits will be in place.”

Martin said Comcast still has much to explain: “In particular, what exactly does it mean by a ‘protocol agnostic’ management technique?  Will there be bandwidth limits and, if so, what will they be? Will they be hourly? Monthly? How will consumers know if they are close to a limit? If a consumer exceeds a limit, is his traffic slowed? Is it terminated? Is his service turned off?”