According to MarketWatch, Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin appears to support broadband providers seeking to offer tiered access to high-bandwidth content online. He suggested this while answering questions at the Globalcomm 2006 Conference in Chicago. “Consumers need to be able to access all the content that’s available over the Internet without being impeded by the access provider, but at the same time, we recognized that the people that are deploying these networks may offer differentiated speeds and differentiated products to the consumer,” Martin said.
Some consumer advocates have called for the FCC to impose conditions on Time Warner and Comcast’s acquisition of bankrupt cable operator Adelphia Communications, to make sure that content providers not owned by those big companies can get fair access over Time Warner and Comcast-owned networks, as well as their cable channel lineups. Comcast and Time Warner are the biggest cable companies in the U.S., with more than 35 million subscribers between them. Martin’s remarks Monday indicate that he would not be in favor of these stipulations.