FCC publishes Comcast order to end throttling
August 20, 2008
The FCC has published its order directing Comcast to stop its “discriminatory network management practices” (currently the announcement is at the top of the FCC homepage).
The short version (as we already knew) is that the FCC has now stated unequivocally that “This practice [of interrupting peer-to-peer traffic] is not ‘minimally intrusive’ but invasive and outright discriminatory.”
The order goes into more detail about what Comcast needs to do now that should produce some interesting results in the next month:
Specifically, in order to allow the Commission to monitor Comcast’s compliance with its pledge, the company must within 30 days of the release of this Order: (1) disclose to the Commission the precise contours of the network management practices at issue here, including what equipment has been utilized, when it began to be employed, when and under what circumstances it has been used, how it has been configured, what protocols have been affected, and where it has been deployed; (2) submit a compliance plan to the Commission with interim benchmarks that describes how it intends to transition from discriminatory to nondiscriminatory network management practices by the end of the year; and (3) disclose to the Commission and the public the details of the network management practices that it intends to deploy following the termination of its current practices, including the thresholds that will trigger any limits on customers’ access to bandwidth.246 These disclosures will provide the Commission with the information necessary to ensure that Comcast lives up to the commitment it has made in this proceeding.
I look forward to learning more from these disclosures in the coming weeks.
Also, as a current Comcast customer and a user of p2p networks, I would love to see the company do a little outreach to apologize directly for these practices. The FCC didn’t mandate that, but it seems like it would be in the firm’s interest to do a little damage control.
(H/T – SS)