CONSUMER groups and legal scholars have formally asked the US Federal Communications Commission to stop Comcast throttling file sharing.
If the FCC takes notice, it will be the first real test of the watchdog's 'net neutrality' policy.
In the past, the FCC has said ISPs can't block customers from Web sites or from using Internet-based applications. So far it has not enforced that policy.
However hacks from Associated Press found that Comcast targeted BitTorrent and slowed down its ability to work.
This left the company open to claims that it was shutting down users who wanted to download legitamate films and music. This is because it is a cable company and wants to be the sole source of such content.
However, since Comcast's technology only affects uploads, it is more likely to be a bandwidth saving trick, rather than anti-competative practice.
Among the consumer groups who have approached the FCC are the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumers Union, the Media Access Project and professors at the Internet practices of the Yale, Harvard and Stanford law schools.
Free Press and another group, Public Knowledge, are separately demanding that the FCC to demand a "forfeiture" from Comcast of $195,000 per affected subscriber.
More here. µ
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