Monday, August 4, 2008
In a three to two vote, the FCC told Comcast that it had illegally blocked users from using file-sharing software, and gave the company until the end of the year to desist from the practice. Said Kevin J. Martin, the FCC Chair, "We are preserving the open character of the Internet...We are saying that network operators can’t block people from getting access to any content and any applications.” Comcast had prevented users from using BitTorrent, which allows the downloading of video and music files. The company defended itself by saying that such use by a few customers would tend to overload its servers to the detriment of many others, who did not use the application. The FCC decision is likely to fuel further discussion of the network neutrality issue. Comcast is likely to appeal. Here's a link to the FCC release. Read more here in a New York Times article.