Comcast’s recent efforts to throttle file transfers using the BitTorrent protocol have led, perhaps predictably, to a renewed call for Congress to enact stiff Net neutrality laws.  But even some supporters of new laws–meaning enacting antidiscrimination regulations aimed at broadband providers–are now reluctantly conceding that the proposals that have been circulating in Congress for more than a year may not do much to stop Comcast. (The company has been sabotaging some peer-to-peer file transfers, which dramatically slows them down, although the file tends to be delivered eventually.)  Carole Handler, a partner at the law firm Foley & Lardner in Los Angeles who has written about Net neutrality and is now in favor of such regulations, says “the language is such that there is definitely some wiggle room in both bills.” Handler was referring to bills that have been considered, but not approved, by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Harold Feld, senior vice president for the Media Access Project, which lobbies for Net neutrality laws, is also skeptical about whether Rep. Ed Markey’s legislation would do much. If Comcast announced, “‘We are absolutely going to prohibit peer-to-peer on our network or even manage our network so when we reach some unspecified capacity restraint, we’re going to start messing with everybody’s BitTorrent uploads, but it’ll be totally random…’ that is arguably permissible under the Markey bill,” Feld said.

[SOURCE: C-Net|, AUTHOR: Anne Broache]

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