It's looking like Comcast, one of the main ISPs in the US that is accused of throttling file-sharing users' Internet transmissions, will be hit by a regulatory ruling from the FCC.
According to newswire reports, the cable ISP may have breached the FCC's Net Neutrality policy in applying traffic-shaping to its user's data streams.
Although much of the file-sharing transmissions involve copyright material, a sizeable minority of BitTorrent file transfers involves copyright-free data and, of course, some smaller companies use the
protocol as a means of distributing their own files.
The Wall Street Journal summed up the situation - which is being watched by ISPs in the UK with great interest, and for obvious reasons - when it said that a key issue is whether the ISPs admit to what they
are doing - or not, as the case may be.
Myself, I suspect that a lot more ISPs on both sides of the Atlantic are applying throttling techniques to their transmissions than are prepared to admit to the practice.
Comcast has admitted to "delaying" some Internet traffic, but I tend to agree with industry commentators in censuring the ISP for not coming clean on its practices from day one...