The FCC chairman wants to punish Comcast for blocking certain traffic which the cable company says eats up bandwidth. What has come to light is that Comast is not the only one practicing the blocking of Internet traffic. It is just that Comcast got caught at it. The FCC chairman may recommend that Comcast be punished for their deeds. Though exactly what that punishment might be is unknown. According to the New York Times:
Such an action would be the first time that regulators have slapped an Internet provider for violating F.C.C. open-access rules. Those rules are designed to prevent providers from favoring some services over others — for example, by accelerating the transfer of video from their own movie service or slowing down transfers from competitors.
That will surely please “net neutrality” advocates like Free Press, which brought the original complaint. The group issued a statement Thursday night saying: “The F.C.C. now appears ready to take action on behalf of consumers. This is an historic test for whether the law will protect the open Internet. If the commission decisively rules against Comcast, it will be a remarkable victory for organized people over organized money.”
Comcast’s blocking efforts ignited a wildfire of criticism last fall, after the A.P. tested Comcast’s network and reported that the cable company was manipulating Internet protocols to intermittently block file transfers made by customers using a popular program called BitTorrent.
Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, admitted that it was slowing down certain traffic but claimed it was legitimately managing its network so that a few bandwidth hogs didn’t bog things down for everyone else.
I use a cable connection for Internet access, since DSL is not available where I live. I’m paying $43 a month with taxes just for the luxury of connecting and downloading files using a faster speed than what dial up would provide. Because of this premium I pay, I expect my service to be as fast as possible. No matter what I choose to download, I do not believe that any cable company has the right to throttle back or block any connection.
What do you think? Should Comcast be made an example of and be prohibited from blocking any Internet traffic?