Comcast has filed a countersuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), almost a yea
r after the body found Comcast had illegally throttled its customers' peer to peer (P2P) traffic.
The internet service provider (ISP) announced nearly a year ago that it would sue and has now laid out its case in the opening brief. In essence it is arguing that the FCC has no powers in the matter under the current legal framework.
When the FCC ruled against
Comcast it turned down an opportunity to rule on the regulations themselves in favor of ordering
the company to stop throttling, the statement explains.
"At the time Free Press made its filings, no provision of federal law - whether a statute, agency rule, or agency precedent - governed the network management practices of ISPs," it says.
"There was simply no federal law to interpret, enforce, or apply against Comcast. The Commission nonetheless pressed ahead, refusing to dismiss the filings in favor of a rulemaking."
The case is going to be watched with interest by ISPs. Some have already pressed ahead
with throttling and many more are eager to start hacking away at P2P traffic.
If Adam Smith has his way then some ISPs will proclaim they are not throttling and so win custom, but the short term savings of cutting off the bulk of P2P traffic may be too tempting.