Comcast Tells FCC It Doesn't Have Authority To Interfere With "Traffic Shaping"

Comcast is now claiming that the FCC “has no legal power to stop the cable giant from engaging in what it calls ‘network management practices’ (critics call it peer-to-peer traffic blocking),” reports Ars Technica. In an amazing display of spin, Comcast writes that letting the marketplace “maximize consumer welfare” has been “enormously successful” as proven by the “Comcast customer experience”—seriously, we’re not making up these phrases. On a less humorous note, the filing in which Comcast makes these claims also seems to imply that it will sue the FCC if it tries to enforce any changes on how Comcast blocks P2P traffic.

The three main points of Comcast’s argument, which Ars Technica covers in greater detail, are:

1. “Congress has not given the FCC authority to act on this matter”

2. “The FCC’s Internet Policy Statement does not give the agency the authority to deal with the issue”

3. “Regulating Comcast’s ISP policies may violate the Administrative Procedures Act (APA)”

The article concludes that this may just be “legal saber rattling” on Comcast’s part—but that it might also be “a warning to the FCC to expect a lawsuit following any action against ISP P2P blocking. FCC Chair Martin says he hopes to finish his investigation of Comcast by late June. “

“Comcast: FCC lacks any authority to act on P2P blocking” [Ars Technica]
(Photo: Monty Python)

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