FCC Must Act to Keep Comcast in Check

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For Immediate Release

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Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

FCC Must Act to Keep Comcast in Check

Group Calls on Chairman Genachowski to Investigate Level 3 Allegations, Protect Internet Users

WASHINGTON - Free
Press today called for the Federal Communications Commission to
investigate the latest in a series of anti-competitive actions by
Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company and residential broadband
provider. Yesterday, Level 3 Communications, an Internet “backbone”
provider that supports Netflix streaming video service, complained to
the FCC that Comcast unfairly hiked prices to carry its traffic. Earlier
that day, equipment maker Zoom Telephonics filed a complaint that
Comcast was violating Net Neutrality principles by throwing up hurdles
that prevent it from selling competing cable modems to Comcast
customers.

These latest allegations against Comcast — which was previously
sanctioned by the FCC for interfering with lawful file-sharing online —
come as the agency weighs major decisions on how to restore its legal
authority to regulate broadband services, how to craft meaningful rules
to protect Network Neutrality, and whether to approve Comcast’s proposed
$30 billion mega-merger with NBC Universal.

Free Press President Josh Silver made the following statement:

“This is just a preview of what a media monopoly will look like in
the Internet age – one company, consolidating its media power to squash
competitors, stifle innovation and price-gouge consumers. Comcast has
demonstrated time and again that it can’t be trusted and will do
anything and everything to undercut its competition, abuse its power,
and evade accountability. The FCC needs to launch an immediate
investigation into these latest allegations by Level 3 and Zoom and do
whatever it takes to protect Internet users.

“This is a moment of truth for Julius Genachowski. The FCC chairman
can no longer sit on the sidelines endlessly weighing whether to take
action. He must move now to restore the agency’s authority to police the
new generation of media behemoths; to issue airtight Net Neutrality
rules that shut down pay-to-play toll roads on all wired and wireless
networks; and to stop this dangerous merger that would give Comcast even
more control over what we watch, read and download every day. If the
merger goes ahead, it will be the first domino, as the Internet becomes
more and more like cable TV, with a handful of monopoly providers like
Comcast overcharging customers and building toll roads on the Internet
that stifle entrepreneurs and independent voices."

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

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