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Comcast applauds Obama‚??s net neutrality announcement

Comcast said it applauds President Obama‚??s proposed net neutrality rules while disagreeing on how to enforce them.

This article originally appeared on watchdog.org.

WASHINGTON, D.C. ‚?? In what is sure to further confuse newcomers to the debate,¬†Comcast on Tuesday said it applauds President Obama‚??s proposed net neutrality rules while disagreeing on how to enforce them.

In a post¬†published¬†on the company blog, Comcast‚??s executive vice president and chief diversity officer, David Cohen, said that while the company supports net neutrality principles called for by Obama and¬†announced¬†Monday, it disagreed with his support for strict FCC regulation of Internet service providers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

‚??Doing so would harm future innovation and investment in broadband and is not necessary to put in place strong and enforceable Open Internet protections,‚?Ě said Cohen, saying¬†the current regulatory regime already gave the FCC the needed authority to enforce net neutrality.

Net neutrality, on its surface, is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally, but debate over how to enforce that principle has consumed the tech policy world for more than a decade.

Reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers under Title II would bring ISPs under utility-style regulations, a move supported by progressives looking to curb the threat of communications monopolies and opposed by free-market advocates fighting big government.

Comcast supported the FCC‚??s net neutrality rules passed in December 2010 after a federal appeals court¬†ruled¬†‚?? several months before ‚??¬†the agency exceeded its authority after censuring the company for¬†interfering¬†with the Internet traffic of users of the file-sharing network BitTorrent.

As part of the conditions for its merger with NBC Universal in 2011, Comcast agreed to uphold net neutrality principles. The company ‚?? whose merger with Time Warner Cable is in¬†limbo¬†before the FCC and the Department of Justice ‚?? also¬†supported¬†the FCC‚??s net neutrality rules passed in December ¬†2010, denouncing a move to Title II then, as well.

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