The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled that cable giant Comcast may legally slow down Internet transmissions to and from the BitTorrent, Inc. file-sharing Website. The decision is technically limited to D.C., but cable companies and ISP’s will be ramping up delays for bandwidth hogs on the one hand, and raising fees for speedier throughput on the other. Cable companies had multi tiered pricing already; the new twist is court-sanctioned intentional slowing of data streams. This appears to be the demise of the Federal Communications Commission’s intended enforcement of “network neutrality”.
When the New York City Civil Court catches up to congestion docketing, watch out! Civil litigants may face “scheduling” fees scaled according to how quickly a party wants to be in the courtroom and for how long.