by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jan 8th 2008 3:37pm
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.
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