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Franken Seeks Answer On Comcast Net Neutrality Condition

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has asked Comcast to clarify what it means in ads suggesting the Time Warner Cable deal will be a boon to network neutrality.

Comcast is subject to network neutrality regulations through 2018 regardless of the legal status of FCC rules--they are currently mostly invalidated but the FCC is reworking them.

In a letter to company CEO Brian Roberts, Franken, who is a vocal critic of that deal, wants to know if Comcast will extend that condition beyond 2018 whether or not the FCC succeeds in reinstating them.

"Comcast has made net neutrality a central issue in its affirmative case for the Comcast-TWC deal. As such, it should explain fully its intentions with respect to net neutrality, not just for the period that runs from now until 2018," said Franken.

He also said that because he did not get a "direct response" from Comcast Executive VP David Cohen about extending the commitment beyond 2018, he was writing to clarify. Cohen said that he expects the FCC will be able to impose new rules that apply to everyone. Wheeler has pledged to have rules in place by year's end, though he has gotten pushback from both sides on his proposal.

Comcast has declined to negotiate its future conditions on the TWC deal in the press or in Hill hearings, but Cohen has said that he will be willing to talk to the FCC about conditions when that time comes.