Martin Accuses Comcast of Widespread Throttling

By Roy Mark  |  Posted 2008-04-22 Print this article Print

title=Best Practices or Regulation?} 

Last week, Comcast and Pando Networks said they plan to work with broadband providers and P2P vendors to establish industry best practices for dealing with P2P traffic. The end result, they hope, will be a so-called "P2P Bill of Rights and Responsibilities." Pando also co-chairs with Verizon the P4P Working Group, another industry mashup of service providers and P2P technologies.

The deal with Pando is the second such alliance announced by Comcast since the FCC held its first throttling hearing in February. BitTorrent announced March 27 it is working with Comcast to address issues associated with rich media content and network capacity management.

Even if the FCC rules against Comcast, the cable provider contends the agency does not have the legal authority to enforce its network neutrality principles.

"It is settled law that policy statements do not create binding legal obligations," Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen wrote in a March filing with the FCC. "Indeed, the Internet Policy Statement expressly disclaimed any such intent."

Despite Martin's comments on the Comcast case, he told lawmakers, "I do not believe any additional regulations are needed at this time because we have a complaint and adjudication process."

When pressed on Comcast's veiled legal threat to challenge any network neutrality violation finding, Martin noted, "Almost everything we do at the FCC is ultimately challenged in court."



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