Comcast-BitTorrent Talks No Substitute for Net Neutrality

Contact Info: 
Jen Howard Free Press (202) 265-1490, x22 or (703) 517-6273

WASHINGTON -- Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider, and BitTorrent, a file-sharing company, today announced plans to collaborate on ways to distribute large files over the cable company's broadband network.

Late last year, the Associated Press exposed Comcast for cutting off access to legal file-sharing programs. In response to a complaint filed by Free Press and members of the SavetheInternet.com Coalition, the Federal Communications Commission has launched an official inquiry.

The FCC plans to take up the issue at an upcoming public hearing at Stanford University on April 17.

Marvin Ammori, general counsel of Free Press and author of the complaint, issued the following statement:

"These talks are the direct result of public pressure -- and the threat of FCC action -- against Comcast. But with Comcast's history of broken promises and record of deception, we can't just take their word that the Internet is now in safe hands. This doesn't change the urgent need for the FCC to take action.

"The issue of Net Neutrality is bigger than Comcast and BitTorrent. This agreement does nothing to protect the many other peer-to-peer companies from blocking, nor does it protect future innovative applications and services. Finally, it does nothing to prevent other phone and cable companies from blocking. Innovators should not have to negotiate side deals with phone and cable companies to operate without discrimination. The Internet has always been a level playing field, and we need to keep it that way."

Read the Wall Street Journal article announcing the collaboration: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120658178504567453.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Read the Stanford hearing announcement: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-280895A1.pdf

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