Network Neutrality: Comcast filled FCC hearing with "street people" to block legitimate dissenters!


As reported in the Washington Post ...

"A majority of the Federal Communications Commission has concluded that cable operator Comcast unlawfully disrupted the transfer of certain digital video files, affirming the government's right to regulate how Internet companies manage Web traffic."

"Three commissioners on the five-member FCC have signed off on an order that finds Comcast violated federal rules by purposely slowing the transmission of video files shared among users of the application BitTorrent."

"Comcast has said it delayed the files to assure that enough bandwidth remained available for other users on its network. But the company did not disclose its practices until public interest groups and the video-sharing site complained to the FCC, alleging that the company had set itself up to be a secret gatekeeper of content, picking and choosing which applications to favor."

As a follow-up to our blog entry on Network Neutrality... 


The question…

Do you want your Internet Services bundled and billed in the same manner that your current telephone and cable providers now use when providing your existing service?

...we are unhappy to report that Comcast, a common carrier seeking to "manage" the Internet to increase their profits... HIRED STREET PEOPLE TO FILL THE FCC HEARING ROOM IN ORDER TO REDUCE DISSENT!

According to 

"Comcast acknowledges that it hired people to take up room at an F.C.C. hearing into its practices."

Lying comes easy to Comcast?

"Comcast acknowledged that it paid some people off the street to hold places in line for its employees, but denied they took seats in the hearing room."

Except the Free Press was there with a camera...


"Two men apparently sleeping during an F.C.C. hearing at Harvard on Monday." (Photo Credit: Free Press) continues...

"How big are the stakes in the so-called network neutrality debate now raging before Congress and federal regulators?"

"Consider this: One side in the debate actually went to the trouble of hiring people off the street to pack a Federal Communications Commission meeting yesterday—and effectively keep some of its opponents out of the room."

"Broadband giant Comcast—the subject of the F.C.C. hearing on network neutrality at the Harvard Law School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts—acknowledged that it did exactly that."

"Comcast spokeswoman Jennifer Khoury said that the company paid some people to arrive early and hold places in the queue for local Comcast employees who wanted to attend the hearing."

"Some of those placeholders, however, did more than wait in line: They filled many of the seats at the meeting, according to eyewitnesses. As a result, scores of Comcast critics and other members of the public were denied entry because the room filled up well before the beginning of the hearing."

We had the best of intentions...

"Khoury said that the company didn't intend to block anyone from attending the hearing."

Like hell you did!

Business as usual...

"Such tactics are not unheard of at congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., but Comcast's critics said that they were inappropriate for a public hearing on a college campus."

"Free Press campaign director Timothy Karr said that he showed up at the hearing 90 minutes early, only to find the room "75 percent full."

"'The only reason these people were in the room, it seemed to me, was to keep seats warm and exclude others,' Karr said."

"A number of people in the audience wore yellow highlighter marking pens on their shirts or jackets; Karr said that was to identify them to Comcast employees coordinating the company's appearance at the event. Khoury acknowledged that Comcast coordinated the employees that it brought to the hearing."

More to come...

And this is ONLY the beginning as the common carriers send forth their paid lobbyists with promises of untold millions in campaign funds and support -- all aided by the communications workers unions who know that they are also in for a hefty chunk of change should the common carriers secure the right to further bilk the public over Internet services that they currently enjoy. Services which are not FREE when you consider the costs of hardware, software and the monthly charge for access and download speed.

What can YOU do?

Keep an eye on the common carriers who want to insert a toll-booth in front of your computer so they can siphon off a percentage of the money that may be made by content providers who supply video on demand or downloaded music. They see a bonanza to replace the money they lost when they foolishly refused to support VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony which has fulfilled its promise to provide almost decent service at a large discount from the over-regulated phone tariff charges.

Keep an eye on the politicians who may be crafting enabling legislation to allow the common carriers to "manage" the Internet under the guide of providing superior service over limited bandwidth instead of increasing the national bandwidth to that enjoyed by many foreign countries.

Watch the money. Watch the power. And watch your pocketbook.

-- steve

A reminder from a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

Comcast F.C.C. Hearing Strategy -

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

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