Broadband: BBC Calls For More; Comcast Throttles

Across the pond the BBC is calling for government “intervention in the market in order to ensure everyone has access to broadband internet.”

[We] would like to emphasise the importance of considering the case for a new definition of universal service aims in a higher-speed future. There is a need to scope the case for public intervention to ensure all parts of the UK have access to modern broadband networks, even in areas where it may be commercially unattractive. For if broadband delivers social value that goes beyond private value, then it will be essential to ensure that no-one is left out.

In the US, the FCC Chair told Congress that Comcast was blocking peer-to-peer traffic even when there was no network congestion, contrary to what Comcast had told the FCC.

Then there’s the Dave Winer Comcast story from last week. With no warning, Comcast cut off his service, not once, but twice. The company threatened to send workers to his house to put a regulator on his router.

Winer pays $180/mo for his combined Comcast offerings, which includes its “power boost” internet service. He’s an edge case, but his usage is legal.

To be expected, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), of “the Internet as a series of tubes” fame, opposes any network neutrality bill. Regulation, of course is “unwarranted.” Media companies, telecoms and television services are three of the top 20 industries buying the Senate seat for Stevens.

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