In a quest for net neutrality, over 23,000 Comcast Cable Internet Users miled the Federal Communications Commission in an effort to put an end to the blocking of peer-to-peer traffic by the ISP. The FCC is set to investigate the complaint in the upcoming weeks and is requesting information regarding the case from all Comcast subscribers. This is not the first time that Comcast has been accused of blocking or slowing software programs or users. Comcast has also been accused of basically censoring the Internet by using filtering software to choose and block what users have access to. With complaints such as these launched at one of the largest Cable TV providers, the issue of net neutrality is becoming even more important.
Net Neutrality has become a hotly debated topic not only on Internet watchdog sites and blogs, but also in the current political debates. The definition of net neutrality from wikipedia.com is "a broadband network free of restrictions on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, on the applications that may use it, the modes of communication allowed, and where communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams " . In short, net neutrality means keeping the Internet open and accessible to the masses, without unnecessary limitations, including the blocking of software applications, users, or equipment. It also involves controlling the cost of Internet access. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) want to limit the amount of bandwidth customers can use and charge extra or slow the internet connection for anything over that limit.
Time Warner Cable is putting usage limits on its customers by conducting a test of pay per use internet service starting in Texas within the next few weeks. Other cable companies have up to this point, penalized what they consider excessive bandwidth usage by slowing the user's connection speed. Depending on results, Time Warner's use of consumption-based-billing may be the turning point for all ISPs. If Cable Internet subscribers do not stand up for their rights and complain about usage limitations and restrictions now, it will be too late!