Typical Net Neutrality coverage – accepting untruths from ISPs

I just sent an email to the reporter from NewsPressNow who posted a typical net neutrality story. A flaw in this kind of reporting is the tacit acceptance of an ISP’s blandishments that the Internet was fine before the 2015 FCC rules, and that “… And I don’t know if you’d find anyone who said there was a problem with the internet.”

Well, someone said there was a problem, because Comcast paid a $16 million fine to settle a law suit for blocking/throttling legal internet traffic, exactly the kind of behavior that would be permitted by the change of rules. As I said in my note to the reporter:

I don’t know whether he [the source at the ISP] is ignorant of history, or simply baldly saying things that are known to be false, but a quick google of “Comcast throttle bittorrent” will turn up copious evidence that some ISPs were throttling the internet in those “good old days”. See, for example, these two articles that offer technical details of the Comcast case:

Wired: https://www.wired.com/2007/11/comcast-sued-ov/ and

ArsTechnica: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2009/12/comcast-throws-16-million-at-p2p-throttling-settlement/

This behavior by Comcast is the best documented, but I believe more research turn up more ISPs who dabbled in various kinds of throttling behaviors before the Title II language went into effect.

I encouraged the reporter to update the story with a reaction to this information from his source at the ISP.

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