09 May 2012

Is Comcast Cheating on FCC Net Neutrality Rules?

Cable TV giant Comcast investigated for violation of FCC net neutrality agreement
First, they came for the net neutralists...
Is cable TV giant Comcast competing unfairly, giving their own content bandwidth-priority over 3rd-party services?

According to a recent report, the answer is, 'probably'...

Streaming Media Blog's Dan Rayburn says Comcast applies industry-standard 'Quality of Service' (QoS) tags to all content. Their content is tagged Service Class 5 (CS5), while content from outside companies like Hulu and Netflix is rated Service Class 1 (CS1). Thus, Comcast's Xfinity content has delivery-priority. For doubters and skeptics, Rayburn provides instructions to do the test, yourself.

This comes just days after news that Sen. Al Franken (D-WI) has called for FCC to investigate Comcast over similar issues. In his complaint to the Obama administration, Franken referred to Comcast's signing of FCC's 'Open Internet' order and to two, specific clauses in that agreement -- written by the US Dept. of Justice -- which are designed to guard against anti-competitive behavior.:
“If Comcast offers consumers Internet Access Service under a package that includes caps, tiers, metering, or other usage-based pricing, it shall not measure, count, or otherwise treat Defendants’ affiliated network traffic differently from unaffiliated network traffic.”
“Comcast shall not prioritize Defendants’ Video Programming or other content over other Persons’ Video Programming or other content.”
Previously, Comcast has claimed that any prioritization affects only content delivered over their 'private IP network' and not their Title VI cable service, which is subject to FCC's 'Open Internet' rules. The company used this defense when net neutrality supporters attacked their Xfinity for X-Box service. But the evidence in Rayburn's report seems to imply they are in fact prioritizing standard cable services, too.

via: Seeking Alpha

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