FCC’s Comcast Wrist Slap? Just Kevin Being Kevin

There’s really no need to get confused about the coming FCC condemnation of Comcast’s anti-BitTorrent practices. In fact, it’s pretty simple to figure out when you understand that it’s just Kevin being Kevin, albeit in a much more understated fashion than the man who made that phrase famous.

If you understand that A) Martin has always been a friend of the telcos first, then you understand that any chance to slap at the cablecos is fair game, even if it means crossing traditional GOP voting lines to side with the FCC’s two Democrats. If you further understand that B) at the current point in the net neutrality debate, the telcos don’t want any new regulations or laws, then you also understand that it behooves them to have it shown that the FCC’s 2005 Internet policy statement — previously called not enforceable by Martin himself — is all the authority the FCC needs to police such infractions.

So yes, Kevin, go ahead and call Comcast out for practices it has probably already stopped using, and won’t ever use again. And then don’t say anything about metered services, or paying for QoS or traffic prioritization. Save that for the next chairman!

While we are waiting for the actual order to come out this Friday, we suspect there won’t be much beyond a prosaic hand-slap, and certainly not the hammer some have called the pending order. The real action won’t come until there’s a new President, a new FCC and a new Congress. Look for more from us about “Phase II” of the network neutrality debate, as soon as we can after the FCC commissioners cast their votes on Friday.

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