Comcast suit over FCC's 'net neutrality' smackdown heats up

There's been a lot oftalk recentlyabout the Federal Communications Commission's newly proposed broadband rules. But one little matter seems to have been lost in the hubbub: the pending litigation between Comcast (CMCSA), the nation's largest cable company, and the FCC over the commission's decision last year to sanction the cable giant for violating net neutrality. That's the principle that broadband companies shouldn't block any content on their networks in favor of their own offerings.

But Monday, attention returned to the case, as several pro-net neutrality groups and academics filed amicus briefs supporting the FCC's ruling that Comcast violated net neutrality by interfering with Bit Torrent file-sharing traffic on its network. Bit Torrent, of course, is a peer-to-peer file sharing service that lets users swap files -- including MP3 songs -- much to the irritation of the recording industry. Comcast had appealed last year, arguing that the commission lacked the authority to enforce the federal policies.