Comcast's wait-and-see response to net neutrality rules

Comcast doesn't come out swinging after FCC chair Genachowski issues net neutrality principles.

Comcast is taking a wait-and-see approach to the new net neutrality principles announced by FCC chair Julius Genachowski. In a blog post, Comcast exec VP David Cohen has lots of nice things to say about the FCC, while urging Genachowski to go slow. Some excerpts:

We welcome the dialogue suggested by the Chairman in his comments, and we completely agree that any consideration of new “rules of the road” begin with notice and an open, public rulemaking proceeding – this is both fair and appropriate.

But before we rush into a new regulatory environment for the Internet, let’s remember there can be no doubt that the Internet has enjoyed immense growth even as these debates have gone on.

We have implemented consumer-friendly disclosures regarding our network management practices, on the theory that, as the Chairman pointed out today, consumer transparency in this context is extremely important.

We will wait to see the specifics of the proposals that Chairman Genachowski brings before the FCC. But we welcome his proposal to have an open rulemaking process to discuss and analyze these important issues.

In his remarks, Chairman Genachowski stated that his goal is to “preserve” the openness of the Internet - an important acknowledgement that the Internet was and is open. He showed appreciation of the “substantial investment and technical ingenuity” on the part of companies like Comcast who make broadband Internet services available. That is good news.

Chairman Genachowski has made it very clear that he intends for the FCC to undertake a “fair, transparent, fact-based and data-driven” process as it decides whether the Internet needs more regulation. It will be incredibly important for the agency to review the data to determine whether there are actual and substantial problems that may require rules. As these questions are pursued, we are committed to work with the Chairman and his fellow Commissioners.