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FCC Chairman wants penalties imposed on Comcast

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 12 Jul 2008 1:55 User comments (16)

FCC Chairman wants penalties imposed on Comcast Kevin J. Martin, the head of the Federal Communications Commission announced today that he is recommending that the ISP Comcast be punished for violating net neutrality laws.
Over the past year Comcast has gotten in trouble for throttling BitTorrent traffic, without informing its users that it was doing so. The Internet traffic was also only blocked for users using file sharing software.

“The commission has adopted a set of principles that protects consumers access to the Internet,”
said Martin,“We found that Comcast’s actions in this instance violated our principles.”

Comcast, in what has become standard, denied that the ISP had blocked Internet content purposely but instead said it was part of “carefully limited measures that Comcast takes to manage traffic on its broadband network." The company also noted it was part of a strategy to "ensure that all customers receive quality service."

The measure on whether to impose penalties on Comcast will occur on August 1st and the commissioner will be circulating his order recommending penalties tomorrow. His order will require Comcast to stop all blocking of Internet traffic as well as "provide details to the commission on the extent and manner in which the practice was used and give consumers detailed information on how it planned to manage its network in the future."

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16 user comments

112.7.2008 2:34

Hell yes!

Comcast is the only broadband ISP in my area, and I'm sick of this. I can use torrents again! T_T

212.7.2008 3:39

I gotta see the fines, are they really fines or just a slap on the wrist.


"The flimsier the product,the higher the price"
Ferengi 82nd rule of aqusition


312.7.2008 6:39

I don't care much about the fines. This is the part that I like: "provide details to the commission on the extent and manner in which the practice was used and give consumers detailed information on how it planned to manage its network in the future." They'll basically be admitting that they have lied in the past (about limiting Bittorent traffic), and then they have to keep consumers informed on their future actions! This is great news for Comcast customers!

412.7.2008 7:01

Fines are just passed down to the consumer. So this means nothing. We are the ones who will pay the fines.

512.7.2008 7:29
fgamer
Inactive

This is a good thing never the less, because it sends a strong messahe to other ISP's telling them that you can't screw your customers over that allow you to stay in business.Thank god I don't have Comcast, but instead RoadRunner at this point they are trying to introduce a limit on the amount of bandwidth you use and charge you a feww for when you exceed. So either way it goes Comcast will more than likely follow suit if they realize that it will do no harm to their customer base.

612.7.2008 9:27

Quote:
,“We found that Comcast’s actions in this instance violated our principles.”

It's about time someone other than the paying customers noticed this.

712.7.2008 10:24

the chairman has comcast.. and was tired of slow pron downloads.. so he is angry at comcast.. the only isp in his area =D haha!

812.7.2008 10:38

Originally posted by lxfactor:
the chairman has comcast.. and was tired of slow pron downloads.. so he is angry at comcast.. the only isp in his area =D haha!
LMAO!

Good call LXfactor!



912.7.2008 13:08

when nothing changes, nothing changes

Sending CEOs to prison once in a while, might get some of these F*ing billionaires attention! In the end we'll pay for the fines and things will chug on, much the same as they were. They didn't know what was going on in their own companies! Yeah! NOT LMFAO anymore, they are.

1012.7.2008 13:09

when nothing changes, nothing changes

Sending CEOs to prison once in a while, might get some of these F*ing billionaires attention! In the end we'll pay for the fines and things will chug on, much the same as they were. They didn't know what was going on in their own companies! Yeah! NOT LMFAO anymore, they are, all the way to the bank.

1112.7.2008 13:16

Originally posted by gallagher:
Fines are just passed down to the consumer. So this means nothing. We are the ones who will pay the fines.
Uh..no?

If they raise the rates, people will go elsewhere. They know this. They have billions to pay fines with.

1212.7.2008 13:18
varnull
Inactive

How about this Mr FCC chairman. Instead of a fine that just vanishes into government coffers, you order them to provide 10mbps internet to all their existing customers totally free of charge for a year! If they try selling the business or going bankrupt the CEO and ALL the directors go to jail for the remainder of the outstanding time, and like any other criminals have their assets seized. If they transferring their assets to other family members they also follow them to jail for living and profiting from illegal activities, and attempting to pervert the course of justice (avoiding asset seizure).... Lets make the law work for the people instead of the rich!!

If this was some little guy running a shop and deliberately selling under the amount, and then lying about it to the inspectors, we wouldn't even be having this debate.. he would be in jail and out of business. One law for the rich and powerful businesses, one law for everybody else.. That needs to change.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Jul 2008 @ 13:21

1312.7.2008 21:28

If the FCC's ever done something reasonable,this is it.
I like the FCC so much more then the MPAA because they have at least a FEW decent lawsuits.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Jul 2008 @ 21:29

1414.7.2008 8:40

Comcast is not afraid of fines. They will be nothing compaired with replacing their cable with fiber. I think you will discover the users that are throttled the most only have Comcast in their area. They will not lose customers over this. I am certain you do not even need to be using torrents to be throttled. I have a few neighbors that are not using torrents and only have one computer so they have no network. Their service has been terrible this year as well. This will only push Comcast into coming up with a new pricing polacy sooner than they want to.

The joke about the chairman might be true. Comcast is huge in the DC area especially in the areas he would live.

1516.7.2008 10:01
atomicxl
Inactive

Originally posted by varnull:
How about this Mr FCC chairman. Instead of a fine that just vanishes into government coffers, you order them to provide 10mbps internet to all their existing customers totally free of charge for a year! If they try selling the business or going bankrupt the CEO and ALL the directors go to jail for the remainder of the outstanding time, and like any other criminals have their assets seized. If they transferring their assets to other family members they also follow them to jail for living and profiting from illegal activities, and attempting to pervert the course of justice (avoiding asset seizure).... Lets make the law work for the people instead of the rich!!

If this was some little guy running a shop and deliberately selling under the amount, and then lying about it to the inspectors, we wouldn't even be having this debate.. he would be in jail and out of business. One law for the rich and powerful businesses, one law for everybody else.. That needs to change.
Wow, thats pretty strict. To be fair, it couldn't just be when a business shafts the consumer, it should also be when the consumers shafts a business. With most americans having thousands in credit debt and the housing foreclosure crisis where it is, there'd be alot of everyday citizens sitting in jail cells because they screwed some corporation out of the money they promised to pay it.

Not to mention that in this case, the only people who really felt the affects of throttling were probably upset because their illegal downloads were going slow. Really though, all ISPs are gonna have to deal with this eventually. P2P eats up a network. Lets all be honest, when is the last time you downloaded something legal from a torrent or P2P? Even if its often, whats your ratio of illegal to legal? Probably horribly skewed toward illegal.

From the ISP perspective, people doing legal activities take up way less resources than those doing illegal activities. No BS or sugarcoating, thats how it is. I think ISPs are afraid that they need to either charge everyone more or charge just those who are going to be hardcore P2P users more. However, if you charge them alone more, RIAA, MPAA, software makers, etc are going to come slamming down on them. You're charging people money for better access to steal their content. In reality, thats what ISPs would be doing. Thats a massive gray area that probably won't end well for the ISP in the long run.

The question also will have to be asked: At what point is protecting user "privacy" the same as obstruction of justice? If you know that a user is blatantly breaking the law, how long can you keep taking hush money (the $$$ he pays for max speed service) and telling the police, "sorry, can't help you. I know who/when/where/what/how of the crime, but I can't tell you since it'd violate the criminal's right to privacy." On the internet thats seen as fair and just. In the real world they lock you up for obstruction of justice or aiding/abetting a criminal. Or if its systematic, its organized crime.

1616.7.2008 20:59

@atomicxl

You'll learn that Varnull is EXTREMELY strict!! LMFAO

@Varnull

I could agree more with your post. Put the aholes in jail.

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