FCC looking into alleged Comcast net-neutrality violation

Level 3, which carries video for the video-rental company Netflix, accused Comcast of “putting up a toll booth at the borders of its broadband Internet access network.”

Comcast said it is treating Level 3 the same as its competitors.

Level 3 is “claiming it’s entitled to be treated differently and trying to force Comcast to give [it] unlimited and highly imbalanced traffic and shift all the cost onto Comcast and its customers,” according to a statement from Comcast.

The complaint comes as the FCC and the Justice Department consider a merger between Comcast and NBC Universal, with some critics particularly mindful of how the cable company will treat the online video market once it expands how much content it owns.

Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus wrote in a note on Tuesday that the allegations “could further complicate [Comcast’s] push to receive final regulatory approval for the NBCU deal by year-end.”

Meanwhile, cable modem maker Zoom Telephonics filed a complaint at the FCC on Monday claiming that the cable company is preventing subscribers from attaching cable modems to the network, an alleged violation to net-neutrality policies.

The complaints also coincide with deliberations at the FCC over whether to strengthen its net-neutrality policies by creating formal rules to govern broadband networks. Right now, the FCC only has a net-neutrality policy statement, but Genachowski has long said he wants official rules.

He could indicate whether he will move forward with formal rules as soon as Tuesday evening. 


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