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back to article FCC chief claims power over network management

US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin wants everyone to know his agency has all the power it needs to regulate the likes of Comcast. "The commission will be vigilant in monitoring the broadband marketplace and protecting consumers' access to the internet content of their choice," Martin said this afternoon …

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Happy

I said they were in for it

and they are no amount of consumers bill of rights will assuage the commish they stupidly put their foot in it and now their running scared. Never say someone doesn't have authority over you unless you have a death wish.BTW I am so happy this happened.

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Thumb Down

..and the telcos get a free pass

Kevin Martin's tenure at the FCC has been notable for giving the big telcos (like SBC/ATT and Verizon) almost anything they wanted, while taking regular jabs at the cable industry.

While it's true that Comcast got caught being surreptitious about "traffic management" that targeted BitTorrent in particular, the CEOs of SBC/ATT and Verizon made all sorts of public bluster about prioritizing internet traffic some time back and the FCC did little in response.

Yes, part of the FCC's approval of the SBC/ATT/Bellsouth merger was predicated on a limp-wristed agreement that for the next couple of years, "The New ATT" would have to play nice when it came to traffic prioritization, but there was nothing legislatively binding in that agreement and it was designed with a relatively short "sunset period".

More importantly, the sheer magnitude and audacity of the merger that gave rise to that "gentleman's agreement" was such a huge dream-come-true for Ed Whitacre and SBC (largely reconstituting a corporation that at the time that Judge Harold Greene finally succeeded in breaking up for antitrust violations in 1986 was the largest corporation in the world) that that pitiably toothless agreement was a trivial annoyance compared to the enormous market power that AT&T now wields. Worse, other regulatory giveaways (like giving exclusive control of new fiber infrastructure to the telcos in perpetuity) made up for these "phony concessions" many times over.

It would be nice if Kevin Martin spent a fraction of his PR bandwidth attending to the many market abuses of AT&T and its SBC progenitor (below-cost predatory practices for years in the ADSL market, for example) rather than acting like the only "evil doers" in the marketplace are in the cable industry.

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@ Phil

"the CEOs of SBC/ATT and Verizon made all sorts of public bluster about prioritizing internet traffic some time back and the FCC did little in response."

Blustering is illegal?

I learn something new every day.

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@ Phil

That blustering was taken seriously in congress and on the news, if I do recall. And some how the ATT/ Bell South merger snuck by during the same time period without anyone noticing. The entire net neutrality debate was invented as a PR smoke screen so that Ma Bell could continue reassembling.

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Silver badge

@Nexox Enigma

You are correct. Not many people are even aware of that. In fact I was starting to wonder if I was the only person who was aware of the smokescreen of net neutrality.

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Anonymous Coward

Net Neutrallity, market autoregulation... byte me

Yes, the "market" needs to be regulated. It should be clear to anyone with half a brain by now. Regulation should be done by instances taking the real people into account (who said "democracy"?). Welcome to the real world, Komrad!

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Bronze badge

I thought this was something to do with managing PoE

I was wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Stick it to 'em,

make 'em scream, lying to your customers is bad enough by itself.

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