October 25, 2007
Comcast Claims No P2P Blocks
Comcast says that it does not block P2P traffic. The furor arose earlier this week when reports from the AP indicated that Comcast does block some P2P traffic. The AP tested BitTorrent transmissions by attempting to send a 4 megabyte copy of the King James Bible through Comcast nodes. Test software showed that Comcast allegedly (love that word) forged reset packets that told the two ends of the transmission that the other canceled the send or receive. Comcast admitted that it "manages" the network, but doesn't stop traffic, including BitTorrent traffic. It may slow traffic down to give customers a "good" Internet experience (assuming one doesn't use BitTorrent a lot, otherwise it would likely not be a "good" Internet experience), but not stop it.
Cue the lawsuits. It's just a matter of time. Many ISPs are tight lipped about how they manage traffic. Comcast is no exception. Imagine having to disclose this information as part of the discovery phase of a lawsuit (trade secrets aside), or as part of a Congressional investigation. Net neutrality advocates will seize this as an example of why the there should be regulation. And who knows, this may spill over to the other major ISPs. This story isn't going away for a while.
October 25, 2007 | Permalink
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