It barely took a day for Comcast to rid itself of its albatross of a net neutrality pledge after the FCC announced its plan to repeal net neutrality rules back in April. This, after days, weeks, and months of promising that they won’t throttle speeds and won’t abuse their powers as one of the world’s largest internet service providers in a series of recent and not so recent tweets.
Tweets that go back all the way to July of this year:
Now, various sleuths and the Internet Archive noticed that Comcast’s pledge to maintain a fair and open internet is pretty much gone as we knew it. The pledge went from promising that it wouldn’t offer paid prioritization in 2014: “Comcast doesn’t prioritize Internet traffic or create paid fast lanes,” to something much different the day combative FCC Chairman Ajit Pai initially rolled out his plan to eradicate a net neutrality.
Here’s what the page looked like on April 26, 2017 via the WayBackMachine and ArsTechnica:
Here’s the page, changing magically in front of your very eyes, to the version it now has as of April 27th:
- We do not block, slow down, or discriminate against lawful content.
- We believe in full transparency in our customer policies.
- We are for sustainable and legally enforceable net neutrality protections for our customers.
Notice that there is no mention of paid prioritization in their new pledge. According to Cnet, a Comcast spokesperson said they have “no plans” to integrate internet fast lanes, but that means very little in the grand scheme of things. “No plans” in corporate speak is not a definitive “no.” Additionally, as ArsTechnica points out, the pledge also removes any mention of the “Internet Essentials Program” which provides low-cost internet subsidies to poor families. The FCC is looking to remove that program and leave many with one choice for what can potentially be an expensive, slow internet.
As we can see, Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon top the list of anti-net neutrality lobbyists over the last decade-plus.
It seems as if Comcast’s stance on the situation is, and will only be, in line with what the current law forces them to actually pledge to at any given time. This sums it up well: