Comcast Corp said on Monday that file transfers on peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent may be delayed by bandwidth management technology, but it denied blocking access to any applications or content. As the second-largest high-speed Internet provider in the United States with 11 million customers, any move by Comcast to favor or block certain types of content moving over its network would be extremely controversial as it would be seen as flouting 'net neutrality.'
Net Neutrality is the principle of allowing all content that flows over an Internet service provider's (ISP) network to be treated equally without any preference. Although it is not law, it is supported by a wide range of pressure groups and businesses concerned that ISPs will start charging to prioritize the delivery of users content. The Associated Press reported over the weekend that it had carried out experiments across the country proving that Comcast prevented some users from uploading content to peer-to-peer networks, including BitTorrent. Such networks are used by consumers to share large quantities of files such as music, videos and photographs.