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How Comcast became a toll-collecting, nuke-wielding hydra

Dec 03, 2010, 00:04 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nate Anderson)

"Wharton Business School professor Kevin Werbach dubs Comcast's actions this week a "turning point in US Internet policy." Law professor Susan Crawford calls Comcast a terrifying, hat-wearing hydra—and she's looking for a Hercules to cut it down to size. Harold Feld of Public Knowledge says that Comcast has set up a new "toll booth" on the 'Net and is now operating like Ed "use my pipes free" Whitacre. And broadband analyst Dave Burstein says Comcast has just deployed "the nuclear option."

"Just what is going on here, why does it matter, and why is Comcast calling backbone operator Level 3 a big fat liar for starting the whole debate?

"The facts as we know them

"Comcast found itself in the middle of a renewed argument over its "evilness" yesterday afternoon as an interconnection dispute blew up into public view. Level 3 Communications, which runs a major Internet backbone along with a newer content delivery network (CDN), fired off a scathing press release accusing Comcast of (once again) threatening the "open Internet."

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