2024-05-24 06:33:12
FCC chief hopes Comcast sanction serves as warning isps/market data/politics

Yahoo! Finance

A recommendation to punish Comcast Corp. for blocking subscribers’ Internet traffic should serve as a warning to other service providers, the nation’s top telecommunications regulator said Friday.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin said he hopes his action will make network operators sensitive about putting “arbitrary limits on the way consumers can access information on the Internet.”

The Associated Press reported Thursday night that Martin will recommend to his fellow commissioners that Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, be punished for violating agency principles that guarantee customers open access to the Internet.

Martin provided more details of his proposed disciplinary action in a meeting with reporters Friday.

Comcast was accused by consumer groups of blocking “peer-to-peer” Internet traffic, where users share large data files using special software. The complaint followed an AP investigation in October.

Comcast denies it blocks content, but says it uses “carefully limited measures” to manage traffic on its broadband network to ensure all customers receive quality service.

Martin wants Comcast to stop using its current practice, to tell commissioners where it has used it in the past, and to disclose to the agency and consumers what limitations will be placed on customers under its new traffic management plan, which it hopes to have in place by the end of the year.

Martin said he is not recommending a fine against Comcast because he wants to use the case as a means of laying out agency policy.

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