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Senator Asks Comcast To Reject Fast Lanes

2014-10-20 16:25 by
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In a letter to Comcast executive VP David L. Cohen, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked for greater assurances that the company will preserve net neutrality after 2018 and won't create Internet 'fast lanes'. So far, Comcast has been following network neutrality rules as a condition for its 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal. Then the company agreed to support net neutrality until September 2018.

"I ask Comcast to pledge that it will not engage in paid prioritization," Mr. Leahy wrote. "These types of arrangements pose a significant threat of dividing the Internet into those who can afford to compete and those who cannot."

"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," he added.

Internet neutrality is a basic principle that should guarantee that certain individuals won't get preferential treatment. Paid prioritization or 'fast lanes' refers to a deal in which a content provider like Netflix pays an Internet service provider like Comcast to get higher priority for its data on the provider's network. As the effect of such deals is controversial, many critics have been urging the FCC to write strong rules formally banning those deals.

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