Washington Post 
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin said yesterday he would seek to stop Comcast from its practice of slowing Internet access of users sharing large files, but he won’t levy a fine against the cable service provider.
The nation’s chief telecommunications regulator said in a news conference that the cable operator failed to engage in “reasonable” management of its network and that he would seek support from the other four commissioners to stop the company from its practice of delaying some direct exchanges of video and other files between users on its network. The commission will vote on Martin’s proposal at its Aug. 1 meeting.
Martin said he would not, however, seek to levy a fine because the priority of his order was to stop Comcast’s practices.
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He also dismissed the need for a new law or agency rule that would clarify the FCC ‘s ability to regulate Internet service providers. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) , chairman of the subcommittee on the Internet and telecommunications, introduced a bill that would strengthen rules to prevent cable and telecommunications companies from interfering with traffic over their networks.
“I don’t support additional legislation because I think we have authority,” Martin said. “You can’t limit consumers that way.”
Comcast has argued that its practices are reasonable and that the company delayed only certain traffic by the heaviest users who were gobbling up bandwidth on their shared network and degrading service for other Internet users.
The cable provider has also questioned whether the FCC even has a say on the issue.