FCC Chairman Says Comcast "Violated Our Principles" By Arbitrarily Blocking Internet Traffic

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told the Associated Press yesterday that Comcast had “violated our principles” when it came to managing their network. He accused Comcast of arbitrarily blocking internet traffic and failing to disclose to consumers that it was doing so.

“The commission has adopted a set of principles that protects consumers access to the Internet,” FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told The Associated Press late Thursday. “We found that Comcast’s actions in this instance violated our principles.”

The AP says that Martin will recommend “enforcement action” against Comcast and that the FCC commissioners will vote on the issue on August 1.

FCC chief says Comcast violated Internet rules [AP] (Thanks, Everyone!)
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

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  1. HeartBurnKid says:

    For once, I must say Yay FCC!

  2. Eldritch says:

    Whoa, wait, they’re on OUR side?

    …did I wake up in the Twilight Zone?

  3. Xkeeper says:

    This comes off as “Man, that’s just not cool. Oh well, what a total pity, dude.”

    Said in a completely uncaring, go-away-I’m-trying-to-watch-television manner.

    Maybe it’s just from the previous times the FCC has said anything. But who knows, maybe they’ll actually do something this time!

  4. danman81 says:

    Worst Company in America 2008 FTW!

  5. alumicor says:

    Silly Comcast

  6. ogman says:

    The problem is that the other Comcast ass-kissers on the board won’t vote for any punishment.

  7. elislider says:

    funny how the government is holding Comcast accountable for “violating our principles” by doing something undesirable and failing to disclose to consumers that it was doing so. However, traffic shaping isnt something the government is paying them to do, as opposed to the wiretap that they were just pardoned from

  8. pal003 says:

    I see a little tap on the wrist coming. Now, Now, don’t do that again – until we change the law in your favor.

  9. Red_Eye says:

    So blocking traffic = illegal

    Monitoring data/voice = OK

    Got it!

  10. Trai_Dep says:

    Someone replaced our industry-hugging FCC chairman with Folger’s Crystals…

  11. tedyc03 says:

    Unless that penalty involves a $1 billion fine, no salary for their board for three years and no price increases for five years with a 2% price increase cap for fifteen years, I’m nonplussed.

  12. theblackdog says:

    Now if the FCC will just make sure the Sirius/XM merger goes through, I will pull their name for consideration of the Worst Company in America* for next year.

    *Yes I know they’re a govt agency and not a company, but maybe we need a separate bracket for when govt agencies screw us over

  13. incognit000 says:

    I’ll give a damn about this the moment ComCast is actually punished for their behavior.

    Calling a company a “naughty boy” works about as well as calling a small child a “naughty boy.” Sometimes, you just have to make ‘em sit in the corner for awhile.

  14. ibored says:

    @Red_eye

    Well if you block it theres nothing to monitor

  15. Tiber says:

    @tedyc03: Nonplussed? So you are confused? Well, I certainly am, but that doesn’t quite fit the sentence.

    I’m just waiting for Martin to say, “Nah, just kidding.” Then, they share an evil laugh, until Roberts tells him that his horns are showing.

    @theblackdog: Worst Agency in America? What, worst company not a hard enough decision for you?

  16. hustler says:

    obviously comcast will now have to charge us by bandwith usage to make up for this error on their part.

  17. azntg says:

    @Eldritch: You’d think that when we wake up, a prominent headline on the Consumerist will be: “FCC “Enforcement Action” found to be Comcast Marketing Attempt”

  18. mystry says:

    @theblackdog:

    You can’t make a bracket for “Worst gov’t agency of the year”? Wait… never mind. I just now realized what I said and remembered there wouldn’t be enough room for all of them on the list.

  19. @Trai_Dep: If you read the history of posts tagged Kevin Martin, he comes off as pretty reasonable. Sometime he does things we like, sometimes he doesn’t.

    If nothing else, his batting average is better than the “Kennedy” Court.

  20. ShadowFalls says:

    @ibored:

    Hehe, same thoughts exactly…

  21. Trai_Dep says:

    @Michael Belisle: Thanks for the referral. So it seems that Martin is for media consolidation (boo!) and leans pro-consumer for cable issues (except having one company eventually owning all cable outlets?).
    But good point, he’s not all bad. Thanks for that.

  22. Nick_Bentley says:

    This is the kind of thing, if they announced it on a corporate blog, probably none of their customers would have noticed much. Since they did it in secret, that makes them out to be a nasty company. All they had to do was bury it in a long post of a company blog nobody ever reads. Still some would have been upset, but with public disclosure they would have been off the hook for the most part.

  23. RandomMutterings says:

    This is a shocking turnaround from uber-conservative FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s usual style. But wait — not really. By finally acting Martin may be able to keep the FCC relevant in this network neutrality debate. If the FCC had stood by and done nothing then Congress (do I hear Rep. Markey?) would have acted and told the FCC “We really do want the Internet to stay open and here are some mandatory rules for all.” Don’t be surprised if the FCC does little more than define some very vague “principles” again, leading Comcast and others to start charging “by the byte” for Internet access. This will be like the “grocery shrink ray” for the Internet!

  24. aliencam says:

    well at least its a step in the right direction. Most of the time they never would have even been told that was bad.