Comcast appears to be testing the waters when it comes to un-leveling the playing field for certain kinds of content on its network. Considering that the cable giant is very close to completing its acquisition of NBC-Universal, they'll soon have a hundred shit-tons of content of their own, and a giant financial interest in making sure that content gets to people really fast, while content from their competitors putts along.

It started when Comcast wrote to Level 3—an Internet "backbone" provider—and demanded "a recurring fee from Level 3 to transmit Internet online movies and other content to Comcast's customers who request such content."

Level 3 had recently reached an agreement with Netflix to transmit their astonishing amount of data (up to 20% of all US downstream traffic), and though they didn't mention Netflix by name in their statement, the timing seems more than a little coincidental.

Brian Stelter has more at Media Decoder.

This is bad. Congress or the FCC really need to finally make some actual rules about this, before it's too late. Call Comcast, call your Congresspersons, call the FCC. Supposedly, net neutrality will be on their December agenda, and you can bet that Comcast has been calling them, and/or buying them diamond-covered airplanes or something.