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FCC Spanks Comcast For Traffic Blocking

The Federal Communications Commission has ordered Comcast to stop blocking peer-to-peer traffic and make other changes to the way it manages its network, or face the possibility of an immediate injunction.In a collection of material published on the FCC Web site, the agency said that Comcast's network management practices contravene federal policies that protect "the vibrant and open nature of the Internet." It also said that "Comcast's interference is far more invasive and widespread than the company first conceded," affecting up to 75 percent of shared-file traffic in certain areas.

"The company initially claimed that it [interfered with traffic] only during periods of peak network congestion and of heavy network traffic. Later, confronted with yet more evidence suggesting that interference was not limited in this manner, Comcast recast its position yet again and admitted that it interferes with peer-to-peer traffic regardless of the level of overall network congestion at the time and regardless of the time of day," the agency reported.

The FCC established a set of requirements that Comcast must meet within 30 days. Sena Fitzmaurice, senior director of corporate communications and government affairs, said, "We're reviewing the order and evaluating our options."InformationWeek