Comcast, Charter insist they won’t use awesome throttling powers about to be given to them by FCC

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is leading the FCC's quest to strip away consumer protections provided in the agency's 2015 Title II internet regulations.

With the FCC releasing its proposal to reverse its Title II internet regulation regime several weeks ahead of a Dec. 14 vote, the two top cable companies are insisting that they won’t use newfound powers to throttle internet traffic.

“Comcast does not and will not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content,” said Dave Watson, president and CEO of Comcast Cable. “We will continue to make sure that our policies are clear for consumers and we will not change our commitment to these principles.  That is how we run our Internet business and it is a key part of our core network and business practices.”

Added Charter: “Charter has had a longstanding commitment to an open internet, which is why we don’t block, throttle or interfere with the lawful activities of our customers. We don’t impose data or usage caps, engage in usage-based billing or charge modem or early termination fees because we want our customers to use and value our broadband service by accessing the content of their choice.”

With FCC Chairman Ajit Pai leading a Republican majority, the commission is expected to pass the “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” proposal. The new rules will override Title II laws enacted in 2015 which required internet service providers to provide open access to their networks for all digital content. 

The new rules will give ISPs including Comcast and Charter the power to throttle distribution of specific content. Further, it will enable these companies to charge more to content suppliers for faster access through their networks.

“We support the FCC returning to the light-touch regulatory framework in place for more than two decades that allowed the online ecosystem to take root and keep up with the speed of innovation. Title II, written for the monopoly phone service in the 1930’s, is simply not designed to provide consumers, and especially those living in rural and hard to serve areas, with a 21st-century broadband,” Charter Communications said in a statement. 

“We applaud the Chairman’s efforts to repeal the ill-advised and outdated burden of Title II classification, which has harmed broadband investment and innovation,” added David Cohen, senior executive VP and chief diversity officer for Comcast. “We also commend the imposition of a transparency rule that requires ISPs to disclose their net neutrality practices to consumers. It is paramount that consumers know what their ISPs are doing.”