Media News

Comcast gets US FCC notice on Web traffic blocking

NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Comcast Corp CMCSA.O said it received two notices of inquiry on Monday from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which is investigating claims the cable operator blocks certain Web traffic and applications moving across its network.

The FCC is seeking comment in response to complaints by Vuze Inc and Washington advocacy group Free Press.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told reporters on Jan. 9 the agency would investigate claims Comcast has blocked file- sharing services such as as BitTorrent, which are used to distribute large digital media files such as TV shows and movies.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable television operator and the second largest high speed Internet provider with more than 11 million subscribers, has repeatedly refuted allegations it blocks certain Internet traffic or applications.

The company said it used bandwidth technology on its network that can slow the delivery of files, but it would not block them outright.

“We believe our practices are in accordance with the FCC’s policy statement on the Internet where the Commission clearly recognized that reasonable network management is necessary for the good of all customers,” Comcast said in a statement.

Vuze, a digital media platform company, has asked the FCC to clarify what constitutes “reasonable network management” by broadband network operators and to establish this does not permit network operators to block, degrade or discriminate against lawful Internet applications. (Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Andre Grenon)