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DISSENTING STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER ROBERT M. McDOWELLFCC Orders Comcast To End Discriminatory Network Management Practices
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2008 12:05:55 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: dewayne () warpspeed com (Dewayne Hendricks)
Date: August 1, 2008 2:32:57 PM EDT
To: Dewayne-Net Technology List <xyzzy () warpspeed com>
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] re: FCC Orders Comcast To End Discriminatory Network Management Practices

[Note: Here is the statement of Commissioner McDowell. Its long, so go to the link for the entire statement. Commissioner Tate's statement is still not available. DLH]



RE: Formal Complaint of Free Press and Public Knowledge Against Comcast Corporation for Secretly Degrading Peer-to-Peer Applications; Broadband Industry Practices, Petition of Free Press et al. for Declaratory Ruling that Degrading an Internet Application Violates the FCC’s Internet Policy Statement and Does Not Meet an Exception for “Reasonable Network Management,” File No.
EB-08-IH-1518, WC Docket No. 07-52, Memorandum Opinion and Order.

First, I’d like to thank the public interest groups who brought this matter to our attention for doing so. I’d also like to thank the Chairman for having us all focus on this case. Shining a spotlight on these issues has helped raise awareness and spark a debate which has been constructive, at times.

All of us can agree on a few things. The Internet should remain open and free. Our policies, and the policies of all governments everywhere, should promote such freedom. We can also agree that network operators could do a better job of educating consumers regarding the limitations of their networks and how those networks need to be managed to keep the Internet functioning. We have seen a lot of improvement in that area in the past couple of months due, in part, to this proceeding.

I also hope we can agree that applications providers could do a better job of designing software that works more efficiently on networks that were designed and built sometimes decades ago. The providers of certain peer-to-peer (P2P) applications, for example, could do a better job of making consumers aware that their applications require consumers’ computers to work 24 by 7 in ways that can tie up their computing power and reduce broadband speeds for themselves and their neighbors.

I think we can also agree – and in this I concur in Commissioner Tate’s statement – that it is tremendously important for network operators to be authorized to guard against unlawful Internet content such as child pornography, for the Commission to act as a mediator rather than a regulator when appropriate, and for network operators to adequately disclose their terms of service.

In that spirit, I am concerned that we are witnessing a deepening division between some in the application industry and some network operators. Both sectors are indispensable to our burgeoning Internet economy. History teaches us that we are all better off if we reject the rhetoric of the extremes on both sides and resolve technological disputes through collaboration and negotiation. Looking back through the long lens of time, it is obvious that the Internet is the greatest free-market success story of all time precisely because conflicts were resolved in this manner. Continued escalation of rhetoric
serves no one well, least of all American consumers.

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