FCC Petitioned for Rules on ISP Throttling

November 17th, 2007 - 7:07 am ICT by admin  

A day after a California man filed a lawsuit against Comcast for blocking certain peer-to-peer traffic on its network, a company that uses BitTorrent to distribute HD video has filed a complaint with the FCC.

Vuze — an open entertainment platform with 12 million client downloads and 100 content partners — filed a “Petition for Rulemaking” with the FCC requesting the agency create formal rules against traffic throttling.

“The rapid convergence of the entertainment and Internet industries has enabled the delivery of high-quality video, and these throttling tactics represent growing pains as ISPs resist inevitable change,” Gilles BianRosa, CEO of Vuze, said in a statement.

A Call for ISP Rules

“We hope our Petition will trigger a public discussion, but we also need the FCC to act,” he said. “The industry needs transparency into what ISPs are doing and an environment that fosters innovation in online entertainment.”

He added that ISPS should embrace such a discussion. “Rather than resisting changes in Internet usage with counterproductive and arbitrary traffic throttling, we need to work together with the FCC to create a solution that ISPs, technology providers, consumers, content providers, and advertisers can all support.”

The petition calls on the FCC to take up the issue of whether ISPs should be permitted “unfettered discretion to restrict or block traffic carried on their networks” and to censor legal content or discriminate against applications and services that they may perceive as competing with their offerings.

Specifically, Vuze called on the FCC to require network management practices to be based on “actual impact on the network,” not specific services or technologies, and to require practices to be transparent and publicly disclosed.

Managing vs. Blocking

Comcast has responded to press inquiries by pointing reporters to a FAQ on the company Web site, which states, “We never prevent peer-to-peer activity or block access…

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