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Rep. Markey: Don't turn BitTorrent into 'BitTrickle'
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Written by Daniel   
Monday, 25 February 2008 13:04

 Rep. Markey: Don't turn BitTorrent into 'BitTrickle'

February 25, 2008 9:01 AM PST
Posted by Anne Broache
C/Net News 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--At an unusual public hearing held away from Washington, D.C., federal regulators and a key Democratic congressman on Monday said they're investigating the Comcast vs. BitTorrent dispute and are ready to take action against network management practices that disrupt Internet users' experiences.



The remarks came at the start of a public hearing here, where the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to hear throughout the day from corporate, academic, and public-interest group representatives about what constitutes "reasonable" network management by Internet service providers.

That definition is important because it will help the FCC decide whether Comcast--or other Internet service providers, if necessary, in the future--deserves any sort of punishment for stalling uploads to BitTorrent protocol clients, a practice uncovered by Associated Press tests last fall.

"These are very significant issues, and we do not take these allegations lightly," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, referring to the Comcast issue, told a packed Harvard University Law School courtroom.

Comcast, for its part, maintains that its actions are completely reasonable, as they're designed to benefit the surfing experiences of all its customers.

In a speech to kick off the hearing, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the chairman of a U.S. House of Representatives Internet and telecommunications panel, called on the commissioners to be "wary" of believing "any carrier's contention of the need for a significant network management position" and of granting companies like AT&T and Comcast too much control over Internet traffic flows.

"Such intercession into a user's access to the Internet should not result in...the transformation of BitTorrent into BitTrickle," said Markey, drawing a smattering of applause from one corner of the high-ceiling auditorium. "That's a problematic result...whether it is purposeful or purely circumstantial."  [C/Net News...]  [Comments]
 

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