Tags: patrick leahy | comcast | net | neutrality

Leahy Asks Comcast to Pledge Not to Add Internet 'Fast Lanes'

By    |   Monday, 20 Oct 2014 07:24 PM

Sen. Patrick Leahy on Monday asked Comcast, the nation's largest provider of broadband Internet service, to promise not to enter into agreements to give some businesses faster download times.

Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter on Monday to Comcast's Executive Vice President David L. Cohen requesting the company honor a previous agreement not to provide "paid prioritization," which essentially gives businesses who pay a fast lane to potential customers.

"Small business owners that rely on the Internet to reach customers, independent content producers who rely on new platforms to gain an audience, and start-up ventures of all sizes have loudly and validly expressed concern that paid prioritization would change the Internet as we know it," the Vermont Democrat's letter said. "Allowing the Internet to become a two-tiered system of 'haves' and 'have-nots,' controlled by a small number of corporate gatekeepers, would destroy everything that has made it one of the greatest innovations in human history."

Comcast representatives told The Wall Street Journal the company had not yet had time to review the letter.

Consumer advocates want to ban paid prioritization as part of "Net neutrality," which would treat all traffic on the Internet the same. Though the FCC's previous Net neutrality rules were struck down by a federal court earlier this year, Comcast agreed to abide by its requirements at least until 2018 as part of a deal allowing it to merge with NBC Universal in 2011.

Comcast has agreed to give Time Warner Cable customers who would be picked up in its latest merger attempt the same pledge.

Leahy has held two hearings on Net neutrality and has introduced legislation that would ban paid prioritization, The Washington Post reports.

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Sen. Patrick Leahy on Monday asked Comcast, the nation's largest provider of broadband Internet service, to promise not to enter into agreements to give some businesses faster download times.
patrick leahy, comcast, net, neutrality
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2014-24-20
Monday, 20 Oct 2014 07:24 PM
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