Comcast chimes in on FCC's net neutrality proposal

Summary:However, Comcast does not endorse the "reclassification of broadband as a telecommunications service."

The Federal Communications Commission extended the public commentary deadline to the end of the week, and one major player took advantage of the extension.

That would be Comcast, one of the broadband providers that could stand the most to win or lose depending on how one views the hot topic.

The cable giant wanted to make it clear in an open memo that it does believe in an open Internet, and it also sides with what the FCC has proposed for the future of net neutrality.

David L. Cohen, executive vice president and chief diversity officer at Comcast, explained further in a memo on Wednesday that Comcast already supported the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Order.

However, Cohen continued by stressing Comcast does not endorse the "reclassification of broadband as a telecommunications service."

For our part, we offer broadband to over 50 million homes and business, have increased broadband speeds 13 times in the last 12 years, and now provide our residential customers with speeds up to 505 Mbps. We are the only company in America legally bound by the 2010 FCC’s Open Internet rules and believe there should be rules that govern the industry as a whole. In fact, when we close our transaction with Time Warner Cable, we will extend our commitment to support the Open Internet rules to millions of additional broadband customers in Time Warner markets.

Comcast announced in February that it plans to acquire Time Warner Cable in a stock swap valued at $45.2 billion.

But other tech giants that also happen to be prominent players in the net neutrality discussion, such as Netflix , have publicly decried the proposed merger as "not in the public interest."

The bid is still pending approval from the Federal Trade Commission.

Also in February , FCC chairman Tom Wheeler published a proposal he asserted will preserve the Internet as "an open platform for innovation and expression."

Wheeler followed up with an update and clarifications in April , stipulating ISPs cannot "act in a commercially unreasonable manner," or block legal content and favor traffic from one entity over another.

Scheduled to be enforced by the end of the year, Internet service providers (ISPs) will need to disclose all "relevant information" and policies for governing networks.

For months now, there has been a vehement debate about the future of the Internet with fears mounting that broadband companies could charge tech companies, such as Netflix or Hulu, more money for fast connections needed to deliver their services. It has been further suspected those charges would be passed off to consumers through price hikes and other fees.

The Internet Association, a lobbyist group representing the likes of Amazon, Google, and Facebook, among dozens of other tech stalwarts, voiced concerns in a 25-page manifesto on Monday about the potential dangers of discriminating against various content sources, hindering or blocking delivery in real-time, through what has been described as "artificial slow lanes."

Topics: Networking, Broadband, Government, Legal, Unified Comms

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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