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Cox to throttle "time sensitive" traffic

updated 10:55 am EST, Wed January 28, 2009

Cox Throttling Traffic

Cable Internet provider Cox today said it would start trialing a new congestion management scheme on its network that it hopes will manage the network. The test, beginning for Arkansas and Kansas users on February 9th, will prioritize "time-sensitive" data such as games, streaming, VoIP and VPNs over less immediately critical traffic, including uploads, peer-to-peer file sharing and newsgroups. The system only kicks in when the local network is particularly congested and the more critical traffic is at risk of failing, Cox says.

The company also maintains that it won't use the traffic management as a substitute for network upgrades but does say it plans to expand the technique to other areas in 2009 if it's successful.

Cox's approach has already drawn controversy as potentially violating the FCC's statement on net neutrality, which warns that providers shouldn't discriminate against particular kinds of traffic in a bid to encourage open Internet access. The statement was used by the FCC to rule against Comcast and force it to use a platform-agnostic format. The Cox system would particularly discriminate against technologies such as BitTorrent, which relies on peer connections and has been used for official media and software distribution.

Download-based services such as iTunes are also potentially affected.

Company spokesman David Grabert says the new system is a response to the FCC but hasn't yet received commentary from the FCC itself, which is undergoing a management reshuffle as departing chariman Kevin Martin has been temporarily been replaced by Michael Copps. The expected permanent replacement, Julius Genachowski, is an avowed net neutrality advocate and is believed wiling to bolster US policy on Internet traffic.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. chefpastry

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2005

    +3

    Just stop!

    They should just stop messing with people's connections and let their customers decided how to manage their traffic.

  1. noverflow

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +7

    Cant

    That's the problem. You can't do that ("let their customers decided how to manage their traffic").

    Because once it leaves your house, you have no control over it. Imagine if you couldnt play a game because someone was downloading.

    But if you slow down the download, then you can play your game, and make your calls, while still allowing the download.

  1. noverflow

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    Cant

    That's the problem. You can't do that ("let their customers decided how to manage their traffic").

    Because once it leaves your house, you have no control over it. Imagine if you couldnt play a game because someone was downloading.

    But if you slow down the download, then you can play your game, and make your calls, while still allowing the download.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Eriamjh

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Oct 2001

    -10

    Improve your network!

    Why not do that, c****?

  1. Woode

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2007

    +8

    Headline is totally wrong

    Throttling implies that they're lowering bandwidth for time sensitive data. When you read the second sentence, you see that they're working to do exactly the opposite: limit other types of data to open up the "tubes" for time-sensitive data.

    Very sloppy work, MacNN.

  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000

    +4

    Re: Headline is totally

    Very sloppy work, MacNN.

    Haha, like we should expect anything else?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: Improve your

    Oh, you made fun of their name by using a homophone to imply something else. Wow, you must be proud of yourself.

    Now go run off and tell all your other 12-year-old friends that you used the word 'c****' so they can get a kick out of it too!

  1. trevj

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 1999

    +1

    Really testudo?

    This after your own response to this MacNN headline: "Fujitsu to quit hard drive head business." Granted yours was more at the level of a 14 or 15 year old. ;-)

    "I'm tired of these companies that get in the business of providing sexual favors to computer hardware.

    It's about time someone had the balls to finally say "enough is enough!"."
    ~ Testudo

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -1

    I have Cox

    They suck. Their service is bizarrely restrictive and very slow. Poor value for the money as well. They once had them turn off my service because someone on my wifi network was downloading some HBO show. Not sure who it was, but it does not matter. It iss none of their business what gets downloaded or uploaded. D-bags all of them!

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +1

    Why not?

    This is a brilliant idea, though not new by any stretch. Cox is only taking flack for it because they're openly admitting to it.

    Would you complain if one day your VOIP phone started working smoothly while you had your downloads running at max speed?

    I fail to see how anyone would take this to be a bad idea.

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