Irony not dead: Comcast claims it is Net Neutrality's best friend

Since Netflix CEO Reid Hastings published a statement on Net Neutrality and Comcast (whom Netflix has had to bribe in order to secure normal service for its users), Comcast has gone on a charm offensive. The company sent a statement to Consumerist in which it asserts an imaginary history of championing Net Neutrality, a work of Stalin-grade reality-denying fiction that has Consumerist's Chris Morran practically chewing the keyboard in rage:

Comcast’s David Cohen, Exec. VP of Shoving Mergers Down Consumers’ Throats, actually released the following laughable statement to Consumerist and other outlets:

“There has been no company that has had a stronger commitment to openness of the Internet than Comcast. We supported the FCC’s Open Internet rules because they struck the appropriate balance between consumer protection and reasonable network management rights for ISPs. We are now the only ISP in the country that is bound by them.”

W-W-WAIT A MINUTE (Insert sound of record scratching for full effect.)

What Comcast’s Regulator Whisperer fails to mention is that Comcast is only still bound by those Open Internet rules because it’s part of the agreement Comcast made to fool the FCC and Justice Dept. into allowing its merger with NBC Universal.

This is like a paroled convict saying she’s a real homebody without revealing that she’s not allowed to leave her home except for trips to work and to visit her parole officer. Or someone who brags about having a positive impact on the environment by only using public transportation without mentioning that he had his license taken away.

It's great to have Netflix onside for Net Neutrality, now if they only weren't engaged in a war on the open Web and demanding DRM in HTML5.

Not A Joke: Comcast Says No One Is More Dedicated To Net Neutrality Than It Is [Chris Morran/Consumerist]

Notable Replies

  1. Ah Comcast... Here with another helpful reminder that the distinction between 'lawful evil' and the other kinds really breaks down once you reach the point where 'lawful' is a mutable concept within your grasp.

  2. Cory, when you write "Insert sound of record scratching", a lot of people here 30 years or younger looks like a blank.

    On the other hand, a lot of people over 50 probably have no idea what is meant by net neutrality, so I guess it all evens itself out.

    Useless comment over. Interesting read Cory. Keep up the good work in sticking it to "the man".

  3. If they're bound by an FCC agreement to remain neutral, then what are the consequences when they breach that agreement? Nothing? Because they broke the agreement for three solid months, then brokered a bribe from Netflix. So much rage.

  4. You know, if it weren't for the DRM, this could be handled a lot more efficiently. Transparent packet caching is a real thing and it works, but not when you've heavily encrypted everything. ISPs should be complaining to media providers that the DRM is killing them, ironically those two companies are one in the same thanks to our screwed up vertically integrated media landscape.

    Yes, Netflix uses a lot of bandwidth. It also pays for that bandwidth. It's being recieved by people who also paid for their bandwidth from companies that took $360 billion in government assistance to upgrade their networks, and then just pocketed it. And now they're complaining that they don't have the capacity to handle today's network demands and want everybody to pay the more money. Note that they're not promising better service or anything, they just want more money.

    Netflix is only a bad guy in that it exposed just how much the ISPs have been ripping off the public for years now.

  5. Really?

    So there's nothing wrong here because:

    Both of these arguments do not adress whether this is a net neutrality issue, yet they are central to the argument here, and its a slippery slope type argument which continues with:

    You mean, RESTORE your Netflix experience to what it was before throttling by the ISP. If I was to smash a cup handle and I fix it with some crazy glue, or maybe I just buy a new one, I am not improving it. That's not the commonly accepted meaning of the word improvement.

    And then the non sequitur:

    How is Netflix trying to pull a fast one?, I'm open to discussing this, but the "article" (propaganda piece on Mashable) does not say, it says words, sure, but none that back up the argument directly rather than handwaving it away.
    (This peering issue you mention is, again, only mentioned in the "article" (astroturfing linkbait), I have a good grasp of the technical issues it refers to yet none of these are mentioned here as anything other than technobabble so not worth discussing as part of the argument either.
    There may be something here but its really not as simple as the way its stated here, I'm reminded of this: smiley )

    But the funny thing is that the real "meat" of the argument is hidden here in this paragraph, it just doesn't mean what you say it means:

    So, investors were told that everything's fine so they don't worry and take their money with them. And this doesn't raise an alarm for you? The argument basically boils down to:

    But if it isn't, then why had the FCC attempted to prevent this from happening in the past?, and the minute the FCC's power to regulate this was overruled. Throttling starts?

    Yes, yes it is. For business it is.

    Seems to me that what they do says quite a bit more then the spin they try to put on it. Because this is spin, its the language of business and politics du jour after all.

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