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Comcast applauds Obama’s net neutrality announcement

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[November 13, 2014]   By Josh Peterson |
 WASHINGTON, D.C. — In what is sure to further confuse newcomers to the debate, Comcast on Tuesday said it applauds President Obama’s proposed net neutrality rules while disagreeing on how to enforce them.

In a post published on the company blog, Comcast’s executive vice president and chief diversity officer, David Cohen, said that while the company supports net neutrality principles called for by Obama and announced Monday, it disagreed with his support for strict FCC regulation of Internet service providers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

“Doing so would harm future innovation and investment in broadband and is not necessary to put in place strong and enforceable Open Internet protections,” said Cohen, saying the current regulatory regime already gave the FCC the needed authority to enforce net neutrality.

Net neutrality, on its surface, is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally, but debate over how to enforce that principle has consumed the tech policy world for more than a decade.

Reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers under Title II would bring ISPs under utility-style regulations, a move supported by progressives looking to curb the threat of communications monopolies and opposed by free-market advocates fighting big government.

Comcast supported the FCC’s net neutrality rules passed in December 2010 after a federal appeals court ruled — several months before — the agency exceeded its authority after censuring the company for interfering with the Internet traffic of users of the file-sharing network BitTorrent.

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As part of the conditions for its merger with NBC Universal in 2011, Comcast agreed to uphold net neutrality principles. The company — whose merger with Time Warner Cable is in limbo before the FCC and the Department of Justice — also supported the FCC’s net neutrality rules passed in December 2010, denouncing a move to Title II then, as well.

Contact Josh Peterson at Follow Josh on Twitter at @jdpeterson

Josh Peterson
Josh Peterson is a DC-based tech reporter for the Franklin Center's news site. Peterson previously spent two years at The Daily Caller covering tech and telecom regulatory policy as the publication's Tech Editor. During that time, he focused on cybersecurity, privacy, civil liberties, and intellectual property issues, and in addition to covering political protest movements. Prior to joining The Daily Caller in October 2011, Peterson spent time in DC researching and reporting on technology issues in internship roles with Hillsdale College's Kirby Center, Broadband Breakfast and The National Journalism Center, and The Heritage Foundation. Peterson has a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from Hillsdale College. He is also a musician and music enthusiast, and an avid martial artist.

[This article courtesy of Watchdog.]

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