John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

FCC to Comcast: You Throttle BitTorrent, We Throttle You


The Federal Communications Commission isn’t buying Comcast’s (CMCSA) argument that throttling or degrading the performance of the peer-to-peer file-sharing service BitTorrent on its broadband network is a necessary traffic-management technique.

Speaking at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said he’s considering taking action against the cable operator for violating the agency’s network-neutrality principles. Seems Martin was troubled by Comcast’s dissembling around the BitTorrent issue, not to mention its efforts to pack an FCC hearing on Net neutrality with its own employees.

“A hallmark of what should be seen as a reasonable business practice is certainly whether or not the people engaging in that practice are willing to describe it publicly,” said Martin, adding that the incident offered the commission a good opportunity to establish a precedent for future cases of this kind. “I have said in the past the commission is ready, willing and able to take action on individual complaints,” he said. “I think that is what we are going to end up doing, and I think that will end up setting an important precedent going forward: that we are willing to address individual complaints when they come in.”