FCC Chairman, Kevin Martin’s conclusion last week that Comcast had been improperly blocking bittorrent traffic was, for us, a major milestone in what has been an exciting journey that began in November of last year.
We had known for some time that ISPs were throttling bittorrent traffic, and we realized that our vantage point on the industry put us in a unique position to stand up for what’s right. So we decided we had to take action. We filed a petition with the FCC asking them to put in place clear rules on the issue of ISP network management practices.
Since then we have testified at an FCC hearing at Harvard, attended a second hearing at Stanford, joined with our community to monitor traffic throttling practices, and published our findings. All along the way, we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from our community of users, from their comments in forums to their participation in collecting data with our plug-in.
So, we were thrilled to learn of Chairman Martin’s conclusion and to hear that he agreed with our cry of “foul!”. We were particularly pleased that Chairman Martin asked Comcast to be transparent with consumers about their past practices and future plans for network management. From the outset we have said that, to be fully effective, rules must be accompanied by a requirement for transparency into what ISPs are actually doing.
The Chairman’s statements do not yet represent the view of the full Commission. However, we hope the other four Commissioners have the courage to follow Chairman Martin’s lead and adopt a decisive order condemning the use of the “man in the middle” technique and other similar network management tactics. And while we await the Commission’s decision, we will continue to push for the rules we believe are required to create an open and free Internet that will benefit consumers everywhere.
Jay and the Vuze Team