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Comcast Testing Data-Slowing Methods

Even as the FCC released its order slapping Comcast for slowing Internet peer-to-peer applications, the company is testing technologies to slow large data files.

Tests to slow large data filed have been ongoing in a few communities and Comcast plans to implement the technology by the end of the year, Comcast officials told The Washington Post.

The FCC order—published Wednesday after the FCC’s 3-2 vote on the matter Aug. 1—says that within 30 days, Comcast must disclose the details of its “discriminatory network management,” submit a plan for compliance by the end of the year, and disclose its new network management practices.

The order left in words that could enable wholesale monitoring of or meddling with Internet traffic by ISPs: “Providers, consistent with federal policy, may block transmissions of illegal content (e.g., child pornography) or transmissions that violate copyright law,” the order said.

Comcast has not said whether it will take the order to court.

Critics of the order pointed not just to the immediate case but also to the FCC’s assertion that it had any business regulating Internet management in the first place.

“Under the analysis set forth in the order, the commission apparently can do anything [to regulate the Internet] so long as it frames its actions in terms of promoting the Internet or broadband deployment,” Commissioner Robert McDowell said in his dissent.