FCC must rule on ISP P2P traffic control

A distributor of online video content has filed a complaint with the US Federal Communications Commission, asking the agency to stop broadband providers from blocking or slowing P2P traffic.

The petition filed by Vuze, which uses the BitTorrent to distribute Web content, asks the FCC to set rules for network management by ISPs. Vuze’s filing follows reports that cable broadband provider Comcast is slowing some P2P traffic, including BitTorrent.

Broadband providers often promote their services as being necessary for watching video online, but then they slow access to a service like Vuze’s, said John Fernandes, Vuze’s vice president of marketing. “They say that they’re engaging in reasonable network management, but what they’re doing is slowing down some traffic.”

Vuze, which has partnerships with several movie studios, television networks and PC game makers, wants to start a dialogue with ISPs about what kind of network management is allowed, added Gilles BianRosa, the company’s CEO. But the FCC needs to prohibit large-scale content blocking, what he called traffic “throttling,” he said.

“The ISPs cannot decide unilaterally what to do with third-party Internet services such as us,” BianRosa said. “We need to work with them to design a solution that works and is fair.”

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