Comcast criticised for blocking traffic

4 Aug 2008

US telecoms regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ordered cable operator Comcast to alter its business practices to lift unfair restrictions on customers who use file-sharing programs. The FCC has upheld consumer complaints and ruled that Comcast’s stance on peer-to-peer traffic is violating regulations which guarantee open internet access. FCC chairman Kevin Martin issued a statement saying: ‘Subscribers should be able to go where they want, when they want, and generally use the internet in any legal means.’ Comcast customers had complained to the FCC over the telco’s practice of blocking traffic from file sharing applications such as BitTorrent. Comcast had argued that it was managing traffic to avoid network congestion and that this would benefit all its customers, but the FCC said that blocking certain applications would not help ease congestion. The operator says it is considering its legal options.