As the vote on Net Neutrality crawls closer, many groups are voicing their support for keeping the internet a free and open environment for all to use without worry of restrictions being imposed. Comcast has made a number of statements on Twitter attempting to support some of the ideas of Net Neutrality but falling short on an important issue.
We do not and will not block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content. We will continue to make sure that our policies are clear and transparent for consumers, and we will not change our commitment to these principles. pic.twitter.com/YHDADvFqau— Comcast (@comcast) November 22, 2017
Notably absent from the statement is any language regarding paid prioritization also known as fast lanes. In Comcast's comments submitted to the FCC, there are actually plans embedded in it to implement high-speed prioritized connections for certain applications and go directly against a key principle of Net Neutrality.
A favorite qualifier used by Comcast is "anticompetitive." Comcast "has committed not to block, throttle, or engage in anticompetitive paid prioritization," but has no problem with fast lanes that itself deems competitive in nature. That is to say, only exclusive agreements between third parties and Comcast would potentially be denied. Comcast may accept agreements for paid fast lanes if multiple groups put money on the table.
Comcast has a weak argument that certain disabled users may need prioritized data for lifestyle and medicinal purposes. However, "compelling applications in telemedicine," seems more like an excuse to avoid offering reliable service to all customers. There is nothing preventing Comcast from offering upgraded service to anyone that needs it instead of creating a hindrance for the majority of users by reducing quality of service.
If the FCC chairman gets his way, the vote on Net Neutrality will take place on December 14. If the majority of public voices are heard, there could be some roadblocks in the way to stop providers like Comcast from implementing practices that are harmful to consumers.