Let the battle begin…
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published "a sternly worded letter" to cable giant Comcast last weekend asking it to prove that it was not giving preferential treatment to its own voice-over-internet services at the expense of such rivals as Vonage.
According to Wikipedia, a neutral broadband network is one that is "free of restrictions on content, sites, or platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and on the modes of communication allowed, as well as one where communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams."
The issue is net neutrality. Comcast runs a network; they provide Internet access to people. They also sell services that people obtain over that network. Network neutrality, basically, is the idea that Comcast's services ought not have some advantage over other companies' services with people who happen to use Comcast's network.
Comcast has had a number of net neutrality issues over the last year and at least two industry watchdog groups are after it. Legislation on net neutrality has died in Congress twice; the Democrats and the GOP come down on separate sides of the issue. But as the Obama Administration takes over the FCC, legislation may cease to be necessary to enforce net neutrality. Regulation and enforcement of current rules just by itself may resolve many net neutrality issues.
Comcast may be the test case for the issue.
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