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AT&T to bar P2P activity from 3G networks

updated 11:50 pm EDT, Wed July 30, 2008

AT&T to bar P2P activity

AT&T is clamping down on users who operate peer-to-peer networking software using its 3G cellular network, due to the "chatty" behavior of the apps' communication protocols, rather than burst-style transmission methods. IP Democracy writes that, although the wireless provider has not yet implemented the practice, it is noted in the End-User License Agreement to be against company policy, with violators running the risk of banishment from the network since it claims that peer-to-peer connectivity degrades its overall network stability.

It is uncertain how AT&T expects to continue the practice, with Republican FCC commissioner Robert McDowell citing that it parallels Comcast's illegal throttling of peer-to-peer connections. FCC guidelines state that all providers must maintain a stance of neutrality towards all network protocols, regardless of transmission method.

A glaring difference, however, is that AT&T states this practice in their licensing agreement, whereas Comcast was acting behind-the-scenes. The motion is far from finalized, and some remain in doubt that the order would stick if appealed, with critics saying that the FCC does not have the power to make such a decision.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. nhmlco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2007

    0

    Wireless Network

    One thing not made clear is that the original article was discussing AT&T's wireless 3G and EDGE networks.

    Which makes the whole thing kind of a non-issue. What idiot would want to run down his battery running P2P software on his iPhone?

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +2

    Re: Wireless network

    It's pretty clear the article is about the 3G network.

    Though you are forgetting that a lot of people use 3G cellular modems connected to their laptops. Don't assume 3G = iPhone.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    TOS

    ATT's TOS is probably a lot like all the other carriers, which specifically tell you what is and isn't allowed.

    Oh, and as to this:
    It is uncertain how AT&T expects to continue the practice, with Republican FCC commissioner Robert McDowell citing that it parallels Comcast's illegal throttling of peer-to-peer connections.

    First, what one commissioner says isn't as important as what the other 4 are saying. Second, the phrase 'illegal throttling' is complete nonsense, since there is nothing 'illegal' about it (there is no law, thus you can't be breaking it). And Comcast is still arguing that the FCC has no oversight over their data network, anyway.

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