FCC Rules Comcast Broke the Law in BitTorrent Flap

Federal regulators voted 3-2 on Friday to rule that “Comcast’s throttling of BitTorrent traffic last year was unlawful,” CNET News reports; the ruling makes this the first time that any U.S. provider has ever been found to violate Net neutrality rules:

“The Federal Communications Commission handed Comcast a cease-and-desist order and required the company to disclose to subscribers in the future how it plans to manage traffic. Comcast had said that its measures to slow BitTorrent transfers, which it voluntarily ended in March, were necessary to prevent its network from being overrun.”

A big part of the problem with Comcast’s defense was that it initially claimed it wasn’t rolling back BitTorrent traffic, when it obviously was. The report said that this did a lot to damage the broadband provider’s credibility in the eyes of the FCC. BitTorrent is increasingly used for legal media transfers, such as Trent Reznor’s recent release of a higher fidelity version of The Slip over P2P networks.

“We need to protect consumers’ access, said FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, a Republican. “While Comcast has said it would stop the arbitrary blocking, consumers deserve to know that the commitment is backed up by legal enforcement.”

Related Stories
Mediabistro Course

Pinterest Marketing

Pinterest MarketingPin your way to a wider audience! Starting December 1, work with the VP of Marketing at SheKnows to learn how to leverage Pinterest for your brand. In this course, you'll learn how to create a Pinterest Playbook to develop and measure your marketing strategy, grow a follower base, run an effective contest, and stay updated on the best practices for this platform. Register now!