THE U.S. FEDERAL Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to order Comcast to stop throttling traffic to peer-to-peer protocols such as Bittorrent. The internet provider would also be required to disclose how it had interfered with such traffic in the past and publicly formulate plans to manage its network in the future.
Comcast had not denied throttling access to certain protocols. At a public hearing in February, Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen admitted: " Comcast may on a limited basis temporarily delay certain P2P traffic when that traffic has or is projected to have an adverse effect on other customers' use of the service."
However, Cohen also emphasised, "Comcast does not block any web site, application, or web protocol, including peer-to-peer services."
Nevertheless, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told the Associated Press that Comcast's actions had "violated" a set of principles adopted by the regulatory commission to protect consumers' access. Indeed, three of five FCC commissioners recently voted in favour of an item that stated the internet provider had violated federal policy by throttling peer-to-peer traffic over its network.
The FCC is slated to issue a final ruling at a commission meeting scheduled for August 1. µ
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