FCC to hold Comcast hearings at Stanford

FCC to hold Comcast hearings at Stanford

Summary: The FCC will hold a second hearing (PDF) looking at whether ISPs, especially Comcast, are improperly blocking, throttling or otherwise limiting consumer access to peer-to-peer applications like BitTorrent. This one will take place at Stanford University on April 17 -- no other details (like building, time, etc.

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The FCC will hold a second hearing (PDF) looking at whether ISPs, especially Comcast, are improperly blocking, throttling or otherwise limiting consumer access to peer-to-peer applications like BitTorrent. This one will take place at Stanford University on April 17 -- no other details (like building, time, etc.) were released, just this generic description:

The Commission will hear from expert panelists regarding broadband network management practices and Internet-related issues.

Is Stanford date a re-do after Comcast's Harvard room-packing? Presumably it will be scheduled for a 9:00 start, so you might want to get there early, if the first hearing, at Harvard, is any indication. Comcast apparently paid local yokels to line up early at fill seats so net neutrality advocates wouldn't be able to get in. Of course, after the drubbing Comcast took over those shenanigans, it's unlikely they'll pull the same stunt.

Now, the question is why the FCC is holding this second hearing. When ValleyWag broke this story they reported it was in response to the allegations about room-packing. When I talked to the FCC back then, they "could neither confirm nor deny" the story. Clearly, though, this West Coast confab wasn't originally planned, so the reasonable inference is this is a re-do.

I did get a statement from FreePress:

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. ... At this defining moment in the Internet's history, the threat posed by would-be gatekeepers like Comcast is very real and getting worse. Open Internet policies are urgently needed. We hope this important hearing will lead to immediate and accelerated action at the FCC.

Topics: Government US, Browser, Government

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