As expected, Comcast took its grievances against the FCC’s recent decision on the company’s web management practices to the DC Circuit Court, which was asked to overturn the ruling on grounds that the FCC lacks authority to bring enforcement action against violations of the agency’s 2005 policy statement on net neutrality. Filed yesterday, Comcast’s appeal concerns last month’s 3-2 pronouncement by the FCC that Comcast’s policy of slowing or blocking file transfers from BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer (P2P) websites does not constitute reasonable network management as specified under the FCC’s net neutrality policy. Although the FCC declined to impose a fine, the agency nevertheless proclaimed that Comcast’s web management practices were “discriminatory and arbitrary,” as it ordered the company to cease its P2P blocking practices by the end of this year. (Meanwhile, in a related series of appeals filed last Friday with the Second Circuit, Third Circuit and Ninth Circuit Courts, various parties represented by the Media Access Project are seeking injunctive relief that would force Comcast to end immediately its current P2P management practices.) The FCC further concluded that Comcast’s motives in blocking P2P transmissions did not stem from efforts to preserve limited network capacity as the company claimed, but instead were rooted in the “competitive threat” posed by P2P video file transfers to Comcast’s core cable offerings. Charging that the FCC’s order “was legally inappropriate and its findings were not justified by the record,” Comcast executive vice president David Cohen said his company’s goal in seeking appellate review is “to protect our legal rights and to challenge the basis on which the [FCC] found that Comcast violated federal policy in the absence of pre-existing legally enforceable standards or rules.” Cohen also confirmed that, pending the court’s ruling, Comcast will “comply fully with the requirements established in [the FCC’s] order, which essentially codify the voluntary commitments that we have already announced.”