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Comcast changes terms to allow traffic throttling

updated 03:25 pm EST, Fri February 8, 2008

Comcast changes terms

Comcast has changed the wording of its terms of service to allow controversial behavior on its part, reports say. The company was accused late last year of sabotaging BitTorrent traffic, in some cases making it unusable regardless of the intended purpose. In keeping with some of the company's excuses for traffic shaping, Section III of Comcast's new terms of service now explains that it "uses reasonable network management practices that are consistent with industry standards."

The contract goes on to say that "all major" Internet service providers use traffic shaping, and that this is being done to protect users from "spam, viruses, security attacks, network congestion, and other risks and degradations of service." This language is said to mirror the FCC's 2005 Internet Policy Statement, which gave ISPs permission to enact "reasonable network management," albeit with full customer access when no harm is done to the ISP or the law.

Comcast may still face serious legal problems, as it is under investigation by the FCC for possibly violating network neutrality, an act which could cost the company as much as $195,000 per affected subscriber. The company has also been threatened by others with a class action lawsuit. [via Ars Technica]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. Laurence

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Mar 1999

    0

    Throttling != Blocking

    They are blocking the ability of persons to seed torrents. If they were slowing down transfers for certain high-bandwidth protocols that would be one thing, however blocking the connection completely is something entirely different. In the end Comcast will be sued and they will lose. Obviously they believe that their losses in court will be less than the expense required to improve their infrastructure to the point that this would not be an issue. They are likely correct in this regard.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007

    0

    but...

    "The contract goes on to say that "all major" Internet service providers use traffic shaping, and that this is being done to protect users from "...network congestion, and other risks and degradations of service.""

    Isn't that "traffic shaping" counter-productive to the person having their traffic shaped?

    Yes, I understand that they are trying to prevent net hogs from impacting their more conservative users, but blocking legitimate services really only punishes people for the providers inadequacy.

    The provider should promise a theoretical maximum throughput based on every subscriber sucking down files at the same time at that theoretical maximum. If they cannot provide that throughput, then their hard maximum cap is too high for their infrastructure to handle. Build the infrastructure to handle your proposed maximum cap with about triple the capacity so you can grow your subscriber base without impacting each users service. If you get near triple your existing subscriber base, either add onto the existing infrastructure enough capacity to handle triple again, or STOP TAKING CUSTOMERS!

  1. Bartman

    Junior Member

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    just in time

    comcast just acquired insight, my local isp... this is really nice

  1. slider

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    Whatever

    I have Comcast b/c the only other choice I have for high speed internet is 768K dsl. I had FiOS before I moved and boy to I miss it. Oh, the thing with Comcast is that I'm suppose to be getting 6MB download speed, but that rarely, if ever, happens, so now they say they'll throttle back the speed. I so go for it, make dsl an option for me. I sick of all cable companies they're all so full of $hit!

  1. chirpy22

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    zzzzz

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvVp7b5gzqU

  1. ender

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 1999

    0

    what "shape" shapping

    So what exactly does shaping mean? If I have a 5 mbps connection, does that mean I have 5 mbps "burst" but that my throughput will start to degrade after that? Is this a way to make iTunes rentals inconvenient as a way to support Comcast's own OnDemand service?

    As far as Flying Meat's suggestion to just build more infrastructure to support every user concurrently downloading the the max speed...congratulations, you just quadrupled the cost of your internet service!

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    0

    it's real simple...

    Comcast Customer Service is still focused on customer satisfaction_

    I download stuff too_ I don't actually "seed" torrents except when I'm downloading I allow an up stream_

    But - every single time I have any issue with the speed of my connection - I am instantly on the phone complaining either to the Reps or Tech Support until they fix it_

    Policy terms or not - I am paying for a 6-8Mps Connection and I expect to have that 99% of the time 24/7/365_ Period_ End of story_ So I will annoy them until I get it_

  1. horvatic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002

    0

    Customer DISSATISFACTION!

    No customer DISSATISFACTION. I pay for a service and expect to get what I pay for. What they are doing now is telling everyone that they can slow down your connection when ever they feel like it. So they are no longer providing high speed band width anymore. Now they are providing low speed with an occasional boost when they feel it is appropriate. THIS IS B.S.!!!!

  1. horvatic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002

    0

    Let your providers know

    Get off Comcast, cancel your TV service as well. Show the other internet providers we want full service ALL THE TIME BECAUSE WE ARE PAYING FOR IT! Everyone write to your own service providers and let them know if they follow Comcast with this c*** that we will cancel are service too! If we let one of them get away with this c*** then they will all do the same thing and NONE OF US WILL HAVE HIGH SPEED INTERNET ANYMORE!!!! Yet we will still be PAYING FOR IT!!!

  1. Eriamjh

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Oct 2001

    0

    Comcast=Monopoly

    At least where I live. There is no alternative for cable TV or cable internet. It sucks, but I get a good price.

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