The RIAA today (Jan. 14) filed comments to the FCC encouraging the regulatory body to keep any Net Neutrality rules it may be considering flexible enough to allow for the enforcement of anti-piracy measures.

January 15 is the deadline for submitting public comments on the issue of Net Neutrality as the FCC begins the process of potentially setting new rules governing how ISPs can manage their network traffic.

In it's filing, the RIAA remains largely neutral on the matter, so long as whatever rules the RCC ultimately adopts not preclude the ability to block illegal file sharing. From the filing:

Peer-to-peer file-sharing services -- a favorite means of unlawfully stealing copyrighted material -- represent a huge portion of the traffic on the Internet today. Based on recent estimates, peer-to-peer file-sharing applications represent over 20% of the total bytes that traverse the Internet and 17% of the bandwidth used during peak hours. Moreover, in an average month, the top 1% of subscribers account for 25% of total Internet traffic, and 40% of the upstream traffic; over 46% of top subscribers' traffic comes from file-sharing applications. So too in the mobile context, where, by recent estimates, peer-to-peer file-sharing is the "single largest factor leading to cell congestion," taking up 21% of bandwidth on the average cell and 42% in the top 5% of cells.

Put bluntly, huge amounts of the Internet's bandwidth are tied up in unlawful traffic. Piracy wastes scarce network resources and crowds out legitimate uses of the network. It costs more to bring broadband to additional areas because of this inflated bandwidth usage. As we, along with our partners launch music services depending on higher bandwidth, we have a particularly strong interest in ensuring an Internet in which media applications -- which, unlike file-sharing applications, have a low tolerance for network delay -- can function smoothly and without the network congestion caused by piracy-inflated traffic.

That is, of course, if the FCC indeed is allowed to set Net Neutrality rules. A D.C. appeals court last week questioned whether the FCC has the authority to determine Net Neutrality rules. Comcast is appealing FCC sanctions leveled against it for limiting the transmission of BitTorrent traffic on its network.