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FCC, Comcast, and Net Neutrality: Round 2

The FCC will hold a second public hearing on Comcast's limiting of peer-to-peer traffic on its network, after the communications firm paid people to take up the limited space at the first hearing last month. But Comcast claims the agency can't do anything about it anyway.The new en banc hearing is scheduled to take place April 17 at Stanford University; time and exact location has not yet been announced. The decision to hold a second hearing was praised by net neutrality advocates: "Just as the internet benefited from widespread public participation, so will the debate over its future," said Josh Silver, executive director of the media reform organization Free Press. "The hearing at Stanford?the birthplace of our internet economy?gives Web innovators a chance to weigh in on the policies that will shape the industry for a generation."

Meanwhile, a Comcast filing with the FCC argues that the agency can't do anything about the company's practice even if it finds the practice violates agency guidelines. "The congressional policy and agency practice of relying on the marketplace instead of regulation to maximize consumer welfare has been proven by experience (including the Comcast customer experience) to be enormously successful," according to Comcast vice president David L. Cohen. "Bearing these facts in mind should obviate the need for the Commission to test its legal authority."Wired, ZDNet, Ars Technica