updated 10:20 am EDT, Mon September 22, 2008
Comcast Priority Traffic
Comcast this morning obeyed FCC mandates today by publishing info regarding its replacement for its controversial BitTorrent throttling system. The cable Internet provider now says it will use a Quality of Service (QoS) system that adjusts the priority of data packets for the most frequent users: if a network is congested, a new filter will automatically lower the priority of their data packets until the congestion passes.
The system will in theory add latency to those creating problems on the network for the majority of users but wouldn't discriminate against specific traffic types or cut data off altogether. It should also allow these same users to run their connections uninterrupted at less demanding periods or on networks where congestion isn't an issue.
Comcast anticipates launching the new traffic management method by December and is already set to implement its 250GB monthly transfer cap next month.
The move comes despite a lawsuit against the FCC for its decision to force platform-neutral filtering. Comcast has long argued its previous approach of blocking BitTorrent and certain peer-to-peer networks was "reasonable" despite its damage to legitimate businesses and the company's attempt to hide its practices until an investigation forced it to reveal its policies.