While its counterparts (we can’t call them competition, since that doesn’t exist) at other cable and Internet service providers have been drooling over proposed “net neutrality” rules that would allow ISPs to charge content companies for “fast lane” access to end-users, Comcast has consistently maintained that it is the only ISP to hold to the since-gutted 2010 version of neutrality (without mentioning that it’s legally obliged to follow those rules for a few more years). Now the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is asking Comcast to stick to those rules even after it no longer has to.
This morning, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont sent a letter [PDF] to Comcast Exec. Vice President and merger frontman David Cohen, expressing his concern that Comcast may be tempted to start charging tolls to websites and online services who need a consistently high-quality connection to consumers.
“One area of particular concern to me, as to millions of others, is the risk of paid prioritization agreements through which websites could be charged for priority access over the Internet,” writes Leahy. “These types of arrangements pose a significant threat of dividing the Internet into those who can afford to compete and those who cannot.”
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