FCC Ready to Defend Net Neutrality

Agency says it will step in to stop ISPs from blocking access
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 12:30 PM CST
Federal Communication Commission chairman Kevin J. Martin, center, and commissioner Michael J. Copps, left, listen to testimony as commissioner Robert McDowell, right, takes notes during a hearing in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – FCC boss Kevin Martin told a hearing yesterday that the government was "ready, willing, and able to step in" to stop Internet service providers from restricting traffic sent by rivals, the Wall Street Journal reports. Comcast is accused of acting improperly by slowing or blocking access to file-sharing sites. The cable giant says it is merely managing its network.

The FCC has shied away from getting involved in regulating ISPs, but the agency is now considering ways of enforcing its "net neutrality" principles to ensure that everybody gets equal access and that competition stays fair. "Comcast not only owns a horse in this race, but they also own the only racetrack in town," said the chief of an online video firm.