Comcast removes 'no paid prioritization' pledge removed from their net neutrality promise page
The vote to repeal net neutrality is coming on December 14th and it will leave the internet open for internet service providers to throttle whatever sites they want (depending on which sites enter deals with them), as well as create tiered content packages (something already occurring in other parts of the world).
Comcast appears to be doing a poor job of hiding their attempts to immediately profit off the repeal.
A report from Ars Technica has revealed that Comcast began making their preparations for the repeal of net neutrality the very day that the FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, announced his plan to eliminate the rules that kept the internet free of meddling by internet service providers.
In 2014, Comcast released a statement saying that they would not create 'fast lane deals' on the web by entering into paid prioritization deals with content/site owners. This statement was echoed on their website until April 26 of this year.
The site read:
"Comcast doesn't prioritize Internet traffic or create paid fast lanes."
On April 27th, this statement was removed from the site. The interesting point is that on April 26th, internet undertaker Ajit Pai announced his plans to repeal net neutrality.
Using the site caching service WayBack Machine, Ars Technica provided a look at the Comcast site up till April 26, 2017, and what it looks like now.
Up till April 26, 2017:
Since April 27, 2017:
The promise against paid prioritization has vanished, as has a note about throttling the speed at which content arrives, and the details around how Comcast will treat 'lawful content' have been expanded. While this suggests 'unlawful' content will be blocked, slowed or discriminated against, it should be noted that some sites, like BitTorrent, have already been throttled in the past and may be throttled once again if they are deemed unlawful.
There's a heavy mist surrounding Comcast and their plans. They've used two terms, "paid prioritization" and "anti-competitive paid prioritization" without offering a clear definition of what the latter is and how it is different from the prior. They have offered hypothetical examples of what "anti-competitive paid prioritization" is, but you're best off reading about that on Ars Technica, as reported Jon Brodkin will give you the best breakdown of Comcast's examples.