Philadelphia (PA) - Telecommunications company Comcast announced today that it will no longer restrict Internet subscribers from accessing file-sharing programs and websites.
In the last few months, reports began to surface that Comcast was methodically blocking Internet activity it deemed could be used for illegal content distribution. For example, it made users unable to download BitTorrent files, a modern platform commonly used in video and music pirating.
Comcast came under rigorous fire for its decision, with consumer rights advocates and supporters of Net Neutrality crying foul. In February, it went all the way to a hearing by the Federal Communications Commission.
That kind of pressure became too much for Comcast, despite its continuous claims that it was doing nothing wrong. Comcast had contended that its move was actually to reduce the strain on local cable lines.
"This deal is the direct result of public pressure, and the threat of FCC action, against Comcast, but with Comcast’s history of broken promises and record of deception, we can’t just take their word that the Internet is now in safe hands," said Marvin Ammori, general counsel of the media reform group Free Press in an AP story.
Comcast said it will remove its current discriminatory protocols by the end of the year.