FCC considers hearing do-over in light of Comcast seat-hogging charges

by funchords, Today @ PC World blog

On Monday the FCC held a hearing in Massachusetts on Net neutrality after which Comcast was accused of hiring seat warmers to hold seats for Comcast employees. This erupted into controversy after it appeared to some that the seat warmers in fact did not give up their seats to Comcast representatives and instead appeared to be in place to block the public from entering the hearing. Perhaps there is nothing so wrong about hiring seat warmers, however when the seat warmers were found asleep during the hearing people started getting peeved.

Now in the aftermath of the Comcast seat-warming storm, the metaphorical gavel is coming down on Comcast. First, New York State Attorney General Andrew Coumo was reported to have issued a subpoena for Comcast's records regarding P2P networks.

One of the focuses of Monday's hearing was Comcast's practice of "limiting," also known as blocking, access to P2P file sharing applications such as BitTorrent. It appears that Comcast's blocking the public from a hearing on that subject has raised Attorney General Cuomo's suspicions enough that he wants to look over the details for himself.

The other bit of retribution on Comcast is that site Valleywag is reporting that a second hearing is being scheduled to take place at Stanford. The Stanford community is already in favor against Comcast with big time Net neutrality advocate Larry Lessig on faculty. But the seat blocking incident may spur even more people to attend the hearing and voice out against Comcast.

And to think, all of this could have been avoided if Comcast had simply spent a little more money on their seat warmers by offering them coffee so they didn’t fall asleep.

article originally published at http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/006565.html.

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