The FCC, prompted by complaints about Comcast possibly blocking access to file-sharing in order to better manage its network load, held a hearing on Monday to determine if the practice is “reasonable”. But just how big are the stakes in this so-called network neutrality debate? Apparently, big enough for the cable operator to actually pay people off the street to attend early and effectively keep some of its opponents out of the room.
A Comcast representative acknowledged that they indeed paid some individuals to attend, though she denied that the company was attempting to keep out the public, stating that they were only waiting in line for Comcast employees who had been encouraged to attend. Some of those placeholders, however, did more than wait in line: they filled many of the seats at the meeting and actually slept through the proceedings. Clearly, Comcast will resort to just about any tactic to stack the decks in its favor.