Under a proposed decision outlined by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Comcast—the nation’s largest cable operator—would be forced to abandon its policy of blocking or otherwise hindering file transfers between peer-to-peer (P2P) websites. The proposed order would be based upon FCC findings that the practice constitutes unreasonable network management. At a press conference late last week, Martin told reporters that he is circulating a draft order that addresses complaints filed last fall against Comcast’s practice of throttling P2P transmissions emanating from the BitTorrent file sharing service. The order, to be voted on at the FCC’s August 1 open meeting, would require Comcast to stop interfering with P2P transfers and would also require Comcast to disclose where the company has engaged in that practice “so that we can verify they’ve stopped.” Comcast would also be required to file a compliance and disclosure plan with the FCC through which Comcast would provide a detailed timeline for ending its current P2P policy. The company would also have to notify the FCC and consumers about any changes to its network management policies. Observing that “the Commission has adopted a set of principles that protects consumers’ access to the Internet,” Martin proclaimed that, “Comcast’s actions in this instance violated . . . principles” outlined in the FCC’s 2005 policy statement on net neutrality. Because reasonable network management would be defined for the first time through the draft order, however, Martin acknowledged that Comcast would not be subject to financial penalties. Martin stressed, nevertheless, that future enforcement actions against P2P throttling and similar web traffic restrictions would likely result in monetary forfeitures. Comcast, which has pledged to move to a “protocol antagonistic” platform by year’s end, maintained that “carefully limited measures” used to manage traffic on the Comcast broadband network “are a reasonable part of Comcast’s strategy to ensure a high-quality, reliable Internet experience for all Comcast highspeed Internet customers.” Hinting at a possible appeal, Comcast Senior Director Sena Fitzmaurice lamented: “network management has never been defined, and [the FCC is] now saying, ‘we are defining now and you violated it.’”