The FCC, Comcast, and Net Neutrality

The Feb. 25 hearings may not lead to broad regulation, but they did shine a light on broadband providers’ “network management techniques”Those hopes were quickly dashed as Comcast drew the ire of many participants during the six-hour proceedings. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin convened the hearing to explore allegations that Comcast is acting improperly by blocking certain kinds of Internet traffic.At issue is consumers’ access to Web content and whether network owners can lawfully impose limits on how people access certain forms of traffic, service, or speech over the Internet. Proponents of Net Neutrality say Comcast and other cable TV companies, as well as phone carriers such as Verizon Communications, which provide much of the country’s Web access, should not favor some kinds of content over others. “Consumers don’t want the Internet to be another version of old media, dominated by a handful of media giants,” said FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, who called for creation of an “Internet Bill of Rights” to ensure equal access to all lawful content on the Web.

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