Comcast: No Thanks FCC, Blogosphere Polices Us Just Fine

In the brief Comcast filed arguing that they doesn’t need the FCC telling it how not to throttle its customers’ internets, Comcast came up with a pretty special explanation:

The self-policing marketplace and blogosphere, combined with vigilant scrutiny from policymakers, provides an ample check on the reasonableness of such [network management] judgments.

So after dissing on the relevance of blogs, Comcast turns around and says that it takes blogs seriously enough that they’re a sufficient proxy for FCC regulation. The lawyer that came up with that one deserve a very big M&M cookie.

Comcast: The Blogosphere Will Keep Us Honest [IP Democracy] (Thanks to Ninja of the DC!)
Comments Of Comcast Corporation (PDF)


Edit Your Comment

  1. You know I have to agree for the most part. Sites and blogs such as the consumerist and the readers do a far better job than the red tape bound bureaucratic FCC.

  2. Difdi says:

    Yeah…but aside from public opinion and what amounts to peer pressure, how much regulatory authority does a blog have that makes it better than the FCC for forcing compliance with the law?

    And on an unrelated note, why does the built-in spell checker of this comment entry form consider the word “blog” to be questionable and/or misspelled?

  3. InThrees says:

    How is the opinion of a Pittsburgh or Sacromento blogger going to help the resident of Anytown, USA, where the only local broadband option is Comcast?

    Well, it won’t. Comcast knows it, I know it.

    I am not against ISPs managing their network traffic to ensure higher quality experiences for more of their customers, but the way Comast went about it was all wrong. Rather than drop packets, they should have just throttled problem protocols. (Like bittorrent.)

    I would much rather intend to upload at 40 kb/s and actually get 10-20 rather than intend to upload at 40 and get 0 or 5.

    I’m a fairly active bittorrent user, and I have TWC. TWC’s quality issues aside – I’ve never experienced throttling, and I’ve never experienced slow or poor network performance either. This leads me to believe that TWC doesn’t throttle or interrupt traffic and doesn’t need to.

  4. SexCpotatoes says:

    I’m all for the “Lightning bolt shot right up the ass” school of checks and balances for this scum.

  5. Xkeeper says:

    Hey, at least they’re honest. When it comes down to it, neither the FCC or blogs can do any real regulating.

  6. IcarusRisen says:

    Headline should have been: Comcast takes blogs seriously.

  7. Optimistic Prime says:

    I can see how blogging really helps. I think I’m going to blog about people who drive like assholes, that’ll police them into learning how to drive. Better yet, I’ll blog about world hunger/ overpopulation, that’ll surely solve those problems too.

  8. bohemian says:

    Nope. Internet based traffic has become too important. It needs to be regulated like any other utility. Too many people depend on it for work or school at home and too many businesses rely on it to keep operating. Let the FCC and state PUCs regulate it.

  9. marzak says:


    TWC used to throttle the hell out of my connection. I was also downloading around 30GB a month. after 2 months of that I was punished for one month of slow downloads on everything, so I didn’t use BT. Now that Comcast has bought TWC’s Houston base, I get more problems. An anime that I downloaded every week in 7 minutes (170MB) now takes close to an hour.

  10. mike says:

    I’m all for net neutrality. Yes, there needs to be some level of management because, well, you can’t have 10 people hogging all the bandwidth, leaving the 90 people chugging along.

    Personally, I don’t surf as much as I used to when I was a student. But I still think net neutrality is important because it’s not fair to charge someone differently because he likes to shop at versed (does not exist…I think).

  11. DeltaPurser says:

    @SexCpotatoes: :-) :-) :-) I’m going to use that phrase at work today! :-)

  12. Mike_ says:

    Is Comcast saying it wants the blogosphere to have regulatory authority? Neat.

  13. SexCpotatoes says:

    @DeltaPurser: Always happy to help.

  14. Gorky says:

    Comcast CAN provide unlimited traffic to ALL if its customers if it wishes to. They simply do not want to spend a few million of their billions on some additional networking architecture. There are NO weaknesses if they build it right. Metered broadband is the most asinine thing Ive heard of. If people were only going to use 1MB of data a day they would NOT be paying for a broadband internet connection. This would NOT benefit the customer as you say and would only benefit the ISP if they had any subscribers left when they started using metered usage. The problem is that Comcast is trying to sign up as many new customers they can while still using their old equipment unable to support all the users they are recruiting

  15. kc2idf says:


    And on an unrelated note, why does the built-in spell checker of this comment entry form consider the word “blog” to be questionable and/or misspelled?

    There is no spell checker implemented in the form. That’s your spell checker in your browser. It’s up to you to add it to the dictionary. If you are using Firefox, just right click it and select “Add to dictionary”. The other browsers should work likewise.

  16. justbychance says:

    Comcast and honesty?

    Are you even able to put those two together in the same sentence without cracking a smile?

  17. LionelEHutz says:

    Since when did the blogosphere gain the authority to levy massive fines against Cable Companies?

  18. savvy999 says:

    Which company recently said it wouldn’t give interviews or comments to bloggers? Wasn’t Comcast, was it?

  19. DMDDallas says:

    @savvy999: Target.

  20. Sherryness says:

    “Policing” is vastly different from “enforcing.” They still need to be held accountable and fined if and when they are unethical and do things which are illegal. Blogs are just (an extremely effective) “neighborhood watch.”

  21. ihateauditions says:

    I agree that the juxtaposition of the ambient methodologies create synergistic and highly reflexive network management topologies

  22. ihateauditions says:

    Sites like consumerist and their readers vastly overestimate their influence on the public.

    Nearly all “real world change” stories that originate from the blogosphere consist of websites and their readers originating a story, having the mainstream media pick up and echo that story, then having the government step in (or threaten to step in) to demand action if none is taken.

    If you believe we’re police, you’re wrong. Heck, I don’t even have a taser.

  23. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    If they were just dropping a few packets, that wouldn’t be a problem. TCP/IP can handle dropped packets. The issue is, they were sending RST packets to the “offending” IP address. Sending RST packets is *not* traffic shaping.

  24. mkmead says:

    You know whats awesome. Selling a service as unlimited high speed and then making up commericals and stuff stating how fast it is for you to use to download, music, movies and games and then turning around and making it so you cant do any of that.

    Way to go comcast. Glad it have slowski DSL from SBC.. these T1 download and 256k upload speeds sure are slow.. but at least I don’t have my ISP advertising what I can do on it and then turning around and blocking me from doing it.

  25. forever_knight says:

    blogosphere? ugh. time for a paradigm shift that will facilitate synergy.

  26. ihateauditions says:

    @forever_knight: Agreed! Though I do firmly believe that the maximally effective packet transduction should be facilitated through non-linear gradation of service queues and congestion spelunking technologies combined with facebook.

  27. axiomatic says:

    @forever_knight: @ihateauditions: forever_knight was making a joke about “buzzwords” I think? ;-) Or possibly contributing to a game of corporate CEO buzzword bingo.

    Synergy, paradigm, blogosphere are all silly buzzwords used by upper management types that we engineering types can’t stand.

  28. dlab says:

    So Comcast pays attentions to blogs like… ? I certainly can’t say they’re good about reacting to this one.

    Although Comcast VP of Customer Service Suzanne Keenan DID sign up for an account here and respond to one of my comments about the company… unfortunately, it was a canned response that didn’t really address the fact that my friend had been SEXUALLY HARASSED BY A COMCAST INSTALLER.

    I hope the FCC rips them a new one…

  29. NoNamesLeft says:

    Well thats great comcast pays attention to blogs but they lie constantly to cover their ass. That is why we need the FCC. Comcast needs to be investigated and blogs simply can’t do that.

  30. TsarBomba says:

    All this at the same time the cablecos are crowing about DOCSIS 3.0, which should vastly increase download speeds.


    “Comcast, for example, which currently offers maximum speeds of about 16 megabits per second, expects to boost speeds to 50 megabits per second to some homes served by Docsis 3.0 by the end of 2008. Over the next two years, the company plans on offering speeds of over 100 megabits per second to homes served by Docsis 3.0.

    “The importance of speed is growing amid surging popularity of Internet applications like video downloading that work better on faster Internet connections. Researcher comScore recently reported that a record 10 billion videos were viewed online in December.

    “The new bandwidth speeds could help launch a new generation of Internet applications — which in turn could further fuel demand for Comcast’s own services. “Docsis 3.0 has the potential to influence an entirely new phase of Internet innovation in the same way that broadband spurred the development of many of the video-rich applications that have become mainstream today,” says Comcast’s Mr. Bowling.”

    So should DOCSIS 3.0 perform as advertised, will Comcast stop “throttling”, “shaping”, or in any way “modify” the flow of any IP packets?

  31. watchout5 says:

    Comcast is the worst Monopoly here in Seattle, I sent in a huge complaint to the FCC about this. I’m sick and tired of this company treating me like a piece of meat and having no one else to get internet or TV from. This is fucking bullshit.

  32. Andrew says:

    That’s okay, I don’t need the police around to prevent me from killing my neighbors; the fact that some schmuck in Podunk, LA will disapprove of me on his blog for doing so is deterrent enough.

  33. MPHinPgh says:

    @SexCpotatoes: I’m all for the “Lightning bolt shot right up the ass” school of checks and balances for this scum.

    Wow. That paints a mental picture. Makes me kinda chuckle…