Comcast and AT&T et. al. snub FCC broadband hearing

Free Press, Public Knowledge and The Media Access Project all filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) November 1, 2007, as well as a Petition for Declaratory Ruling, saying Comcast and other service providers had degraded the BitTorrent file sharing application without informing Internet users--constituting a deceptive trade practice.

As I wrote back in January, it took until the 9th of that month for FCC Chairman, Kenneth Martin to promise an investigating. He told an audience at the Consumer Electronics Show in Reno, Nevada,
Sure, we're going to investigate and make sure that no consumer is going to be blocked.
Of course, after hearing from Comcast and Verizon at a February 25 at Harvard, Martin told reporters he still hadn't decided whether Comcast had done anything more than "reasonable" network management. Public interest groups complained that Comcast had packed the hearing making it impossible for many members of the public to attend.

Perhaps the six hours of questioning proved unpleasant for the companies, because CNET's Stefanie Olsen reports today that Comcast Internet service providers AT&T, Verizon, and Time Warner refused to attend a second FCC hearing--this time at Stanford University-- on the subject of their broadband network management practices.

But PC World reports tht Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice complained that that the FCC invited its Chief Technology Officer Tony Werner less than 48 hours in advance. I'm inclined to credit that, recalling my post of last October, "FCC Holds 'Public' Hearing on Localism Today. Why the Short Notice?"

March 27, Comcast announced that it will work on reconfiguring its networks the end of the year to manage data in a "protocol agnostic" way.