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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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March 28, 2008 10:54 AM

Keep up the pressure

Posted by Ryan Blethen

The Comcast/BitTorrent agreement is a pleasant development that should not lull the Federal Communications Commission into complacency. The story can be found here. The net neutrality question has not been answered simply because Comcast said it will figure out a way not to block or degrade the file sharing technology of BitTorrent by year end.

In no way does this agreement have an impact outside of Comcast and BitTorrent. The FCC must keep the pressure on all ISPs to keep their networks open to all content. Congress should take note of the deal and move forward with net neutrality legislation to ensure the United States remains a place where innovation is possible through the Internet.

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps set the right tone for the net neutrality debate with his statement about the deal:

"Today's announcement confirms my belief that the FCC needs to play a proactive role in preserving the Internet as a vibrant place for democratic values, innovation and economic growth. If it had not been for the FCC's attention to this issue earlier this year, we would not be having the conversation that we are having now among network operators, edge content providers, consumers and government about the best way to implement reasonable network management.

I look forward to learning more about this issue next month when the FCC holds a second hearing on Internet issues. I am confident that, through this process, the FCC can come up with clear rules of the road that will benefit American consumers and provide much-needed certainty to both network operators and Internet entrepreneurs."

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