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FCC Demands Comcast Disclose Info on Alleged P2P Blocking

4 Aug, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission has decided to punish Comcast Corp. for allegedly blocking customers' access to peer-to-peer (P2P) networks such as BitTorrent.

In a 3-2 vote Aug. 1, the FCC decided to demand Comcast disclose its practices in handling P2P traffic and for the company to stop discriminating against customers who use P2P networks.

The FCC ruled that Comcast had violated the FCC's Internet policy, which states that Internet service providers can't discriminate against customers who use more bandwidth than others.

The complaint against Comcast first came from consumers in 2007, who said Comcast was specifically blocking downloads from BitTorrent. The Associated Press and Electronic Frontier Foundation both confirmed the practice, causing the FCC to become involved.

“The Commission concluded that the end result of Comcast's conduct was the blocking of Internet traffic, which had the effect of substantially impeding consumers' ability to access the content and to use the applications of their choice,” the FCC said in a statement. “The Commission noted that the record contained substantial evidence that customers, among other things, were unable to share music, watch video or download software due to Comcast's misconduct.”

Comcast has 30 days to respond to the FCC.

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