FCC To Investigate Comcast Filtering; Questions Why Comcast Wasn't Forthcoming

from the what-about-if-it-had-been-a-telco? dept

The FCC hasn’t appeared to have much of an issue with the various telcos spouting off about how they need to block certain kinds of traffic. In fact, even when AT&T agreed to keep its network neutral (sort of, but not really), FCC chair Kevin Martin made it clear that he wouldn’t hold AT&T to its concessions on network neutrality. However, when a cable company, such as Comcast, starts doing some traffic shaping… well, that’s a different story. There was a big fuss last year about Comcast’s traffic shaping efforts. While it took a little while, the FCC has now said that it’s going to probe Comcast’s traffic shaping actions. Now, as we’ve said from the beginning, if Comcast feels it needs to do this kind of traffic shaping, that’s one thing — but there’s simply no good reason (and a number of bad ones) not to be upfront and let its customers know about this. In fact, that appears to be a part of the FCC’s thinking, as well, noting that the FCC allows “reasonable network practices” to protect a network, but: “when they have reasonable network practices, they should disclose those and make those public.” Martin clearly has no love for cable companies, but how the FCC handles this issue could become important in determining how the FCC deals with other traffic shaping issues in the future.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: comcast

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “FCC To Investigate Comcast Filtering; Questions Why Comcast Wasn't Forthcoming”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
5 Comments
GeneralEmergency (profile) says:

Ummm....I'm confused.

“Now, as we’ve said from the beginning, if Comcast feels it needs to do this kind of traffic shaping, that’s one thing — but there’s simply no good reason (and a number of bad ones) not to be upfront and let its customers know about this.”

…But wouldn’t this kind of consumer fraud (non-disclosure of terms of service) be more of an action for the Federal Trade Commision’s Bureau of Consumer Protection?

From Wikipedia:
The Bureau of Consumer Protection’s mandate is to protect consumers against “unfair” or deceptive acts or practices in commerce. With the written consent of the Commission, Bureau attorneys enforce federal laws related to consumer affairs as well as rules promulgated by the FTC. Its functions include investigations, enforcement actions, and consumer and business education. Areas of principal concern for this bureau are: advertising and marketing, financial products and practices, telemarketing fraud, privacy and identity protection etc. The bureau also is responsible for the United States National Do Not Call Registry.

mOjO says:

Re: Ummm....I'm confused.

An excellent point. As you stated it’s pretty much written into the definition of the FTC. However, as the author hinted at, the FCC has unfortunately been quite obviously in bed with AT&T for a while and considering the heated rivalry between AT&T and Comcast lately ala AT&T’s IPTV venture and Comcast’s digital voice VoIP services, it’s almost blazingly obvious that the FCC is just AT&T’s lapdog in this one. That being said, I hope AT&T later finds that sword to be a double edged one as the precedent becomes set for the FCC to punish dishonest traffic filtering practices, it won’t be under this leadership obviously but their day may yet come.

I have no love for either company as both of their business practices have been under-handed, despicable, and rarely in the best interests of the people they serve.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Ummm....I'm confused.

Since when (in the past 30-40 years) has any company been concerned with what their customers want? They are in it for the power and money. There is no other motivation. So, lets call everything what it really is and not get hung up on the customer aspect. The customer is just a slave to them and that is all they will ever be… unless they voice their opinion by purchasing enough stock to have a say (yeah right, like any of us have enough money).

Corporate mentality is you will take what I give you and you will like it. If you don’t like it, go cry somewhere else.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
10:50 NY AG Proves Broadband Industry Funded Phony Public Support For Attack On Net Neutrality (10)
06:24 The GOP Is Using Veterans As Props To Demonize Net Neutrality (22)
06:03 Telecom Using Veterans As Props To Demonize California's New Net Neutrality Law (12)
09:32 AT&T Whines That California Net Neutrality Rules Are Forcing It To Behave (11)
06:23 The New York Times (Falsely) Informs Its 7 Million Readers Net Neutrality Is 'Pointless' (51)
15:34 Facebook's Australian News Ban Did Demonstrate The Evil Of Zero Rating (18)
04:58 'Net Neutrality Hurt Internet Infrastructure Investment' Is The Bad Faith Lie That Simply Won't Die (11)
05:48 Dumb New GOP Talking Point: If You Restore Net Neutrality, You HAVE To Kill Section 230. Just Because! (66)
06:31 DOJ Drops Ridiculous Trump-Era Lawsuit Against California For Passing Net Neutrality Rules (13)
06:27 The Wall Street Journal Kisses Big Telecom's Ass In Whiny Screed About 'Big Tech' (13)
10:45 New Interim FCC Boss Jessica Rosenworcel Will Likely Restore Net Neutrality, Just Not Yet (5)
15:30 Small Idaho ISP 'Punishes' Twitter And Facebook's 'Censorship' ... By Blocking Access To Them Entirely (81)
05:29 A Few Reminders Before The Tired Net Neutrality Debate Is Rekindled (13)
06:22 U.S. Broadband Speeds Jumped 90% in 2020. But No, It Had Nothing To Do With Killing Net Neutrality. (12)
12:10 FCC Ignores The Courts, Finalizes Facts-Optional Repeal Of Net Neutrality (19)
10:46 It's Opposite Day At The FCC: Rejects All Its Own Legal Arguments Against Net Neutrality To Claim It Can Be The Internet Speech Police (13)
12:05 Blatant Hypocrite Ajit Pai Decides To Move Forward With Bogus, Unconstitutional Rulemaking On Section 230 (178)
06:49 FCC's Pai Puts Final Bullet In Net Neutrality Ahead Of Potential Demotion (25)
06:31 The EU Makes It Clear That 'Zero Rating' Violates Net Neutrality (6)
06:22 DOJ Continues Its Quest To Kill Net Neutrality (And Consumer Protection In General) In California (11)
11:08 Hypocritical AT&T Makes A Mockery Of Itself; Says 230 Should Be Reformed For Real Net Neutrality (28)
06:20 Trump, Big Telecom Continue Quest To Ban States From Protecting Broadband Consumers (19)
06:11 Senators Wyden And Markey Make It Clear AT&T Is Violating Net Neutrality (13)
06:31 Net Neutrali-what? AT&T's New Streaming Service Won't Count Against Its Broadband Caps. But Netflix Will. (25)
06:23 Telecom's Latest Dumb Claim: The Internet Only Works During A Pandemic Because We Killed Net Neutrality (49)
13:36 Ex-FCC Staffer Says FCC Authority Given Up In Net Neutrality Repeal Sure Would Prove Handy In A Crisis (13)
06:27 Clarence Thomas Regrets Brand X Decision That Paved Way For The Net Neutrality Wars (11)
06:17 The FCC To Field More Comments On Net Neutrality. Maybe They'll Stop Identity Theft And Fraud This Time? (79)
08:56 AT&T, Comcast Dramatically Cut Network Spending Despite Net Neutrality Repeal (16)
06:18 Ajit Pai Hits CES... To Make Up Some Shit About Net Neutrality (24)
More arrow