FCC Reprimands Comcast in Traffic Management Dispute

The FCC today voted 3-2 to reprimand Comcast for interfering with some of its subscribers’ BitTorrent uploads and failing to disclose the action. The ruling is a major development in the long-running debate over “Internet neutrality” and “network management.” CDT agrees with the ruling’s apparent premise that broadband providers should not target specific applications for inferior treatment and should be much more transparent about network management practices. CDT has serious concerns, however, about the potential breadth of the Commission’s assertion of authority and the risk that it could open the door to greater FCC regulatory involvement in Internet issues. The full impact of the ruling will depend on the actual text of the order, which is not yet available.