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Order Up!

Jeff Baumgartner
8/20/2008

10:20 AM -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , following the divisive 3-2 vote on Aug. 1, has posted the official Order calling on Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) to halt the MSO's "discriminatory network management practices." (See FCC Throttles Comcast.)

More specifically, the Commission said it found that the MSO had deployed monitoring systems that "selectively block" peer-to-peer (P2P) connections.

We'll have more detail once we get a chance to dissect the 67-page document, but, boiled down, the order gives Comcast 30 days to:

  • Disclose the details of its discriminatory network management practices to the Commission.

  • Submit a compliance plan describing how it intends to stop these discriminatory management practices by the end of the year.

  • Disclose to customers and the Commission the network management practices that will replace current practices.


If Comcast fails to comply with those steps, "interim injunction relief automatically will take effect requiring Comcast to suspend its discriminatory network management practices and the matter will be set for hearing," the FCC notes.

A Comcast spokeswoman said the MSO is "examining the order and evaluating our options."

Comcast, which has long denied "blocking" any Internet applications and argued that its network management policies are indeed "reasonable," has already taken some of these steps outlined in the FCC order. Among them, Comcast already has plans in place to migrate to a "protocol agnostic" platform by year's end. (See Comcast Getting 'Protocol Agnostic', Comcast CTO: Manage People, Not Protocols, and Comcast Ready to Test New Traffic Cop.)

As a recap, here's how Comcast EVP and CTO Tony Werner described it to us in May at The Cable Show in New Orleans:





— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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