Cable Stocks Fall After News of FCC’s Internet Plan

Cable-company stocks fell Thursday on concern about the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to regulate Internet lines.

Comcast (CMCSA) shares were down almost four percent in early afternoon trading, while Time Warner Cable (TWC) fell by nearly six percent. Cablevision (CVC), which also reported earnings Thursday, was down more than six percent as well. Telecom companies, which also could be affected by the plan, fared better, with Verizon (VZ) down less than one percent and AT&T (T) down about one percent.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed adopting “net neutrality” rules, which would prevent Internet providers like the cable companies from restricting traffic to certain sites, the Journal’s Amy Schatz reported Wednesday.

The Internet providers want the ability to limit traffic to sites that use a lot of bandwidth, or to charge for bandwidth usage. Consumer groups and companies such as Google (GOOG) favor net neutrality, fearing that without it cable companies would degrade access to competitors’ sites or boost access to sites of partners.

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