It's almost official. In the latest step forward, a majority of FCC commissioners voted Friday to "affirm" a complaint against Comcast for blocking BitTorrent traffic, the Washington Post reports, although the punishment is likely to be a "slap on the wrist," according to one analyst. The final vote will come on Friday with Republican FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin and Democrats Michael J. Copps and Jonathan S. Adelstein indicating they'll vote for punishment. Republican Robert M. McDowell plans to vote against but the other Republican, Deborah Taylor Tate has not indicated how she will rule. FCC insiders told the Post the FCC won't actually fine Comcast. "This is a slap on the wrist for Comcast, but it will be a cutting off of the hand for the next provider who violates rules," said Roger Entner, a senior vice president with IAG Research.
Some think the development could result in metered Internet access and some net neutrality advocates don't mind.
"I don't quite see [metering] as an outrage, and in fact is probably the fairest system going -- though of course the psychology of knowing that you're paying for bandwidth may change behavior," said Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University and chairman of the board of public advocacy group Free Press.