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Comcast to stop slowing BitTorrent traffic

updated 12:15 pm EDT, Thu March 27, 2008

Comcast Eases Torrents

Comcast on Thursday made a surprise reversal of its past practices and said that it would halt its practice of blocking BitTorrent traffic on its cable Internet service. The provider revealed that it would instead work towards a management system on its network that will remain strictly neutral, preventing a bias towards or against any one distribution format. The move is publicly claimed as a recognition of the use of BitTorrent as a legitimate mechanism for business, which requires that it receives equal treatment along with other traffic, according to the company.

Adjusting these practices will demand that Comcast "rapidly reconfigure" its network monitoring but should more accurately reflect online reality, said the company's CTO, Tony Werner. Comcast noted that it was in discussions with BitTorrent for future plans and that it would openly publish its techniques to ensure that both customers and developers are aware of how data will behave on the cable network.

The Internet provider's action is widely understood to be a partial reaction to recent statements by FCC chair Kevin Martin, who argued this month that Comcast's approach to its Torrent-oriented practices was deceptive and didn't rule out the possibility of investigating the practice. In its existing form, the Comcast technique uses software from SandVine that cuts the peer-to-peer BitTorrent or Gnutella links between Comcast subscribers and others on the Internet under certain conditions, severely limiting download and upload speeds.

The cable firm admitted that its discussions with BitTorrent were meant to resolve problems without government intervention.

Comcast's gesture may also have been prompted by efforts on Verizon's part to optimize peer-to-peer traffic for known legitimate services, which the DSL service provider said would not only reduce costs on its end but improve the speed for end users.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    isn't it time that...

    ...the MPAA (and RIAA) fought it's own battles and stopped strong-arming others to do the "heavy-lifting". Also, given the sway both organisations appear to exert on Capitol Hill, perhaps it's time to make the MPAA aware that with great power comes great responsibility! The "elephant in the room" of class-action lawsuits simply has to be how Hollywood glorified and promoted the consumption and use of cancer-causing tobacco products almost from the birth of movies. Let's face it, the sword cuts both ways, if Hollywood want's its product protected surely we are entitled to protection from the products it promotes and compensation when they cause harm? Just a thought! Before all the flames start; if movies and advertising weren't influential, clients wouldn't advertise and corporations would not have sought product placement in movies...With power comes responsibility, Hollywood and the MPAA can't have it both ways.

  1. robttwo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005

    0

    management system

    I fear this phrase still means some kind of "throttling" - in the form of payment tiers based on downloads and uploads.

    Doofuses.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: isn't it time that

    And isn't it time that people railing against the MPAA and RIAA on this issue actually read up on what was being done and WHY!

    Comcast was NOT throttling bittorrent traffic because you're trying to download some movie filled with cigarette smoking losers. It was all about trying to save $$$, both in terms of bandwidth costs (you do realize ISPs have to pay for bandwidth too, right???), as well trying to limit loads on their networks to keep their customers happy and not having to increase bandwidth.

    If they could install software on everyone's computer that would prevent any copyrightable material from being 'illegally' shared over bittorrent and limewire, they STILL would have been blocking that traffic.

  1. bhuot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003

    0

    go away troll

    "Comcast was NOT throttling bittorrent traffic because you're trying to download some movie filled with cigarette smoking losers. It was all about trying to save $$$, both in terms of bandwidth costs (you do realize ISPs have to pay for bandwidth too, right???), as well trying to limit loads on their networks to keep their customers happy and not having to increase bandwidth. "

    That is what they claimed but that does not mesh with reality. Bit torrent is a much more efficient download system so it uses less bandwidth. Get a clue and read up on it before you make a fool of yourself.

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    0

    @bhuot

    Actually Testudo isn't a Troll s/he's merely the Resident-Hooligan-Out-Of-Touch-With-Reality here at MacNN_

    I do have to appluad MacNN for getting the story straight this time_ Iwas at a couple of more reliable Info Sources earlier and they had the facts of this articcle allout of whack - way to go MacNN_

    But there is still one flaw in your info - Comcast actually does offer a 12Mbps high end service for consumers - gotta ask for it - but it's there_

  1. UberFu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002

    0

    it's also funny how...

    the guy [Tony Werner] who has been denying this bullshit for months now until he was blue in the face was the one who conceded that Yes in fact Comcast was involved in shady Shenanignas_

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