Public Knowledge Files Petition with FCC Protesting Comcast Content Discrimination, Data Capping

August 1, 2012 -

Internet advocacy group Public Knowledge has filed a formal petition asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to look into Comcast's violation of the agreement it signed when it merged with NBC Universal, according to an Ars Technica report. The group argues that Comcast gives preferential treatment to its own video services over other video services on the Internet by not having its usage count against customer data caps. The group mentions Xfinity TV On Demand video services on Xbox Live in particular.

"Public Knowledge requests that the Commission move to enforce the conditions it imposed upon Comcast as part of Comcast’s merger with NBC-Universal," the organization wrote. "Comcast’s decision to exempt its online video service from its own data caps is precisely the type of behavior contemplated and barred by the Commission in the Merger Order. As such, the Commission must move to end the behavior and prevent it from being repeated in the future."

While Comcast has claimed that its Xfinity TV service was being served through a "private IP network" and therefore not using regular old Internet bandwidth, Vint Cerf (the co-inventor of TCP/IP) and other analysts came to the conclusion that the company was not in fact serving its service through such a network.

Speaking to Ars Technica, Public Knowledge vice president Michael Weinberg said that the group waited a long time to file a formal petition with the FCC because it had hoped that Comcast would do the right thing when it came to data capping.

"We wanted to see if Comcast was going to take any steps to see if they would address this on its own, but they didn’t," said Michael Weinberg, a vice president at Public Knowledge. "There’s no suggestion that they’re going to get rid of the caps. This is a pressing issue that has a real-world impact today. This is something that is true today, and we know that Comcast is discriminating against every other video competitor."

FCC spokesperson Mark Wigfield told Ars Technica that it plans to review the Public Knowledge petition. You can read the entire thing here.

Source: Ars Technica


 
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