Comcast exec blogs about FCC's lack of authority on net neutrality
Comcast executive vice president David Cohen said Sunday that Comcast's dispute with the Federal Communications Commission on a ruling against the company for allegedly blocking a Web application is more about legal definitions and jurisdiction than the issue itself.
The FCC was dealt a blow in a federal appeals court Friday as three judges seemed to question the agency's authority to impose so-called net neutrality obligations over Comcast for allegedly blocking file-sharing site BitTorrent.
In a blog post last Sunday, Cohen wrote: "The primary basis for our challenge, and the basis on which we hope the court will decide this case, is that no federal agency can subject any company or individual to sanctions for violation of federal standards when there is no law in the first place."
"So it shouldn't matter if you are for or against 'net neutrality' regulation -- this is simply not the way the government should conduct its business."
Instead, Cohen said, the FCC needs to establish "binding regulations" and apply them, which the executive said is what FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is doing with his proposed open Internet rules that would prevent Internet service providers form discriminating against content over the Web by blocking, slowing or unfairly pricing those applications.
That said, Comcast isn't calling for new rules because "broadband competition and consumer demand will ensure that the Internet remain open as it has always been."
January 12, 2010; 11:05 AM ET
Categories: Comcast , Net Neutrality
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