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January 9, 2008

FCC Will Investigate Complaints Against Comcast Network Management Practices

Ars Technica is reporting that the FCC will investigate the reasonableness of Comcast's network management practices.  Comcast has claimed that it slows down file-sharing traffic, but does not stop it.  The Associated Press and other consumer friendly groups have developed evidence to the contrary.  FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is quoted in the article as saying "The question is going to arise: Are they reasonable network practices? When they have reasonable network practices, they should disclose those and make those public."  Comcast says it is looking forward to the investigation.  I'm sure they are.

One point raised near the end of the article is that network providers need to manage their networks to prevent the flood of file-sharing and digital video from overwhelming the networks.  If that is the case, then why not invest in a network that can handle this kind of traffic and charge consumers who want to use it for those purposes?  One can't assume that all file-sharing and video traffic are copyright violations?  What about NetFlix delivering high quality video via the web under a legal subscription?  What about all those torrent sites that television and movie studios support for legal viewing of archived material?  And what about all those legal music downloads from Apple, Amazon, Napster, and others?  Wouldn't the media companies like to see those sales grow?  Just asking the obvious.

January 9, 2008 | Permalink

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