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The Internet

Comcast Defends Role As Internet Traffic Cop 425

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-is-going-to-get-worse-before-we-lose dept.
RCTrucker7 writes "Comcast said yesterday that it purposely slows down some traffic on its network, including some music and movie downloads, an admission that sparked more controversy in the debate over how much control network operators should have over the Internet. In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Comcast said such measures — which can slow the transfer of music or video between subscribers sharing files, for example — are necessary to ensure better flow of traffic over its network. In defending its actions, Comcast stepped into one of the technology industry's most divisive battles. Comcast argues that it should be able to direct traffic so networks don't get clogged; consumer groups and some Internet companies argue that the networks should not be permitted to block or slow users' access to the Web."
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Comcast Defends Role As Internet Traffic Cop

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  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:01AM (#22406774) Homepage Journal
    Then they should not be protected from legal action regarding what flows over the network.

    Make that stipulation and they will stop in a heart beat.

  • by 2phar (137027) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:04AM (#22406828)
    This seems reasonable in principle.. but it should be made clear in the contract exactly what you are paying for.

    There could ultimately be different subscription rates for how fast you want different types of traffic to go.

    The problem is the issue of snooping on traffic and comcast being able to reliably decide what traffic is what class.
  • by Aranykai (1053846) <slgonser@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:04AM (#22406832)
    The situation in most places is unfortunately this: There is ONE cable company offering high speed access, and perhaps ONE dsl company that servers your next door neighbor but not you. Theres not enough competition yet, so these idiotic companies stay in business simply because they have a monopoly.

    So, until that changes, theres no point in bitching and moaning every time some company admits to doing what we all know they are doing. You can always go back to dial-up...
  • Here we go again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trailer Trash (60756) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:05AM (#22406846) Homepage
    There's a world of difference between "slowing traffic down" and spoofing rst packets. I don't mind them slowing down huge downloads or whatever to allow faster web browsing. That's not the issue at hand. I can't use bittorrent to download legal torrents. *That* is the issue at hand.

    Trying to change the subject isn't going to help them.
  • Re:Slowdown (Score:4, Insightful)

    by truthsearch (249536) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:06AM (#22406854) Homepage Journal
    It would be great if it hits their bottom line. Except for many people the choice is between Comcast broadband, AOL dialup, or no internet. Which do most people choose?
  • Re:Slowdown (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:06AM (#22406866) Homepage
    That's just the thing though...it's not coming out in the open. Numerous studies have shown that they are in fact BLOCKING some types of traffic, which is backed up by countless consumer complaints both online and in print.

    Comcast seems to be hoping that your average everyday joe says "oh, they are just slowing it" and that be the end of it. Well, when downloading one version of Ubuntu was nearly 500k a second and then a few months later the next version downloaded at 2 KB per second from my house and roughly 400 KB from the same torrent at a friend's house that DIDN'T have comcast...yeah. I've seen it first hand. This isn't delaying or throttling...this is damn near blocking.

    Besides, injecting their own packets into the communication between my computer and another computer...shit, if I did that to two random people, I would be brought up on criminal charges.
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:09AM (#22406912)
    From TFA:

    The FCC prohibits network operators from blocking applications but opens the door to interpretation with a footnote in a policy statement that provides for an exemption for "reasonable management."

    So who determines what measures fall under the vague umbrella of "reasonable management"? Sure, Comcast can't block applications, but if they slow throughput from said applications down to a crawl, it constitutes a de facto block.

    This should be interesting to watch unfold, especially since I myself use Charter. ^_^
  • Re:Slowdown (Score:4, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:11AM (#22406954)
    Perhaps Comcast will experience a 'slowdown' in its profits...

    You're hysterical! When people don't have much of a choice about what provider to get they're going to choose what's available and unfortunately for about 25 million people (and ~8 million of those for broadband), that's Comcast.

    Nothing will come of any of this and just like the telecom immunity bullshit, this too will pass over Comcast w/o much more than a few news articles and possibly a rebate for one month at $5/subscriber while they continue to control their network as they see fit.
  • by harrkev (623093) <kfmsd@harrelsonfa[ ]y.org ['mil' in gap]> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:12AM (#22406962) Homepage

    Then they should not be protected from legal action regarding what flows over the network.

    Make that stipulation and they will stop in a heart beat.
    Not at all. For cable internet service, an entire neighborhood typically shares the same chunk of bandwidth. Each cable modem has a bandwidth cap, but if you add the bandwidth for each subsriber in a neighborhood, it easily exceeds the available bandwidth. Also, there is a LOT less bandwidth alloted for upstream transmissions, so cable networks are a lot more sensitive to torrents, where up and down are roughly the same (or at least the should be). This has nothing to do with legality.

    So, from the cable company perspective, big downloaders affect the speeds of the entire neighborhood. I can certainly see their complaint.

    In fact, I have no problem with bandwidth limiting. When I grab torrents, I try to set reasonable bandwidth caps so as to not affect my neighbors (unless it is something that I need in a hurry, like when the latest Ubuntu is released).

    If Comcast wants to throttle the bandwidth on my torrents, so be it. I can live with that. But ABORTING a torrent is just plain nasty on their part. Delay the packets, fine. Drop a few packets, fine. But to inject an abort signal, dirty trick.
  • What is the web? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScentCone (795499) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:14AM (#22406976)
    consumer groups and some Internet companies argue that the networks should not be permitted to block or slow users' access to the Web

    It's precisely so that what most users ARE trying to do (access "the web") will continuie to work that some giant, bandwidth-hogging apps are throttled. A crush of bittorrent traffic isn't, for most people, "the web." They want their mail to flow, and their CNN.com and facebook etc to work. The audience here on this message board are way, way outside the norm in terms of the type of traffic they'd rather burn bandwidth on. But here in my town yesterday and this morning, we had a nasty ice storm. I'm sure a lot of people were very glad to have a workable RDP session, and would certainly prefer that the chunk of router they're sharing with their fellow neighborhood broadband users didn't dry up because one kid three doors down is busy "sharing" his anime collection.
  • by sneakyimp (1161443) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:14AM (#22406978)
    All the shrill and panicky anger I hear about this seems a bit suspect to me. Anyone who has studied operating system code should know that trade-offs are always required in the design of systems that manage a limited resource. If you are coding a scheduler [wikipedia.org] to manage access to the cpu, there is no perfect solution. You have to make decisions about when to run BIG jobs (like computing PI to the 6-millionth decimal place) and when to run small jobs (like responding to a keystroke).

    Handling network traffic is an analogous situation. There are big jobs (e.g., transferring that multi-GB collection of secret MySpace photos) and there are small jobs (e.g., signalling a head-shot in a game of Counterstrike). In order to make room for the applications that need immediate response and low latency, you have to limit the big jobs so you have some overhead in which to move.

    I hate my cable company as much as anybody does, but let's not fly off the handle until there is more damning evidence.
  • by moore.dustin (942289) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:15AM (#22406998) Homepage
    I will not fault a company that throttles some of its users in order to maintain the integrity of their service for all their customers. Provided that the contract/agreement states something about it and it is done blindy, not targeting specific users, then fine. The second they pick and choose who gets what and when(or what and at whos expense), then it becomes a real issue.

    If you look at it from the point of view of the customer that got the bandwidth at the expense of the guy that got throttled, they are probably pretty happy about it. Again, provided it is permitted and a blind process which does not target individual users unfairly.
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:15AM (#22407012) Homepage Journal
    It didn't appear in the linked article but in this AP news article from Excite [excite.com], the following comment by Comcast stood out in my mind:


    Comcast says it must curb some file-sharing traffic because some subscribers would otherwise hog the cables with their uploads and slow traffic in their neighborhood.

    In other words, despite what Comcast and every other cable provider who offers high-speed access to the Net will have you believe, you are still sharing one line with all your neighbors. This is different than FiOS or other non-cable connections where you have your own line.

    They'll never admit to it but their own comments prove otherwise.

  • Re:Slowdown (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bassman59 (519820) <andy&latke,net> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:16AM (#22407016) Homepage

    Perhaps Comcast will experience a 'slowdown' in its profits...

    That said, FiOS can't be rolled out fast enough. Sadly, most people have either cable or DSL and sometimes only cable as a choice for broad band.

    What makes you think Verizon (or whomever) won't throttle traffic on a FiOS network in the same way?

    -a
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:16AM (#22407022) Homepage Journal
    "..., it easily exceeds the available bandwidth"

    Then don't sell 'unlimited' sell a tiered system. Do NOT blame the consumer for your(Comcasts) bad business decisions.

    And if they were liable they would stop because no ISP wants to be liable for the consumers actions.

  • Re:Slowdown (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jessiej (1019654) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:16AM (#22407024)
    I for one wouldn't want to pay for "High Speed Internet" that advertises 8 Mbps "with an extra burst of speed up to 12 Mbps when you're downloading large files like videos and games" (taken directly from a price quote on comcast.com) only to find that when I download those large files, the 12Mbps ends up being 3Mbps.

    Sounds like very misleading advertising to me.
  • Re:Slowdown (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whoever57 (658626) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:17AM (#22407052) Journal
    A few years back, I could see that Comcast was blocking VPN traffic. The block was such that the VPN session would be set up, but then the actual traffic would be blocked (different protocols). I could be certain that that the traffic was blocked because I could use tcpdump at both ends. I called them and they denied the block, but a few days later, my VPN started working again.
  • Re:Anology (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wattrlz (1162603) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:18AM (#22407066)
    I liken this to a cell phone company which, when it is running low on capacity, listens in on calls and randomly drops conversations in languages other than english since they're probably discussing something illegal anyway.
  • by Hoplite3 (671379) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:20AM (#22407096)
    Comcast: Sorry, our video-on-demand has used up all of the bandwidth. You can't watch that video-over-ip site now. Have you thought about getting a digital dvr from comcast? And while you're at it, why not a digital phone? We know you've been having problems with Skype...
  • by Moonpie Madness (764217) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:28AM (#22407242)
    I don't think that makes any sense. I will stop kids from smoking crack in my living room, but if I don't notice it, it's still their bad, not mine.

    The only problem with this is that consumers don't really have any choice in internet providers. Comcast should be allowed to do whatever the hell it wants with its business, slowing down pink pictures and speeding up blue ones if it likes. So long as the customers know what they are getting and have a choice.

    The whole problem is that there really is no market (which is also why these networks are so easily overwhelmed). It's time to dereg all local cable monopolies.

  • by Ferzerp (83619) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:31AM (#22407294)
    And so the "cable is shared! dsl is not!" myth still survives.

    They are all shared and technically oversubscribed (were everyone to use their advertised bandwidth). *Where* the "sharing" starts is irrelevant.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:33AM (#22407316) Journal

    For cable internet service, an entire neighborhood typically shares the same chunk of bandwidth

    And they can get around this by splitting their network into smaller nodes, devoting more channels on the HFC network to HSI services and investing in new technologies (DOCSIS 3.0) as they become available.

    Also, there is a LOT less bandwidth alloted for upstream transmissions, so cable networks are a lot more sensitive to torrents

    That's not as important as you might think. On DOCSIS 1.1 it's 38Mbits down/9Mbits up. On DOCSIS 2.0 it's 38/27. Even with DOCSIS 1.1 though it's not really a limitation because they typically have multiple upstream channels on the same node. In my area Roadrunner always uses the same channel/frequency for downstream (609mhz) but they have multiple upstream channels on each node that the cable modems are randomly assigned to. My neighbor is connected to the exact same cable drop as I am -- yet her modem is on a different upstream channel then mine is.

    I can certainly see their complaint.

    I can see their complaint too, but they need to be investing in upgrades. They don't have an interest in doing that though because the next killer-app on the internet is going to be video that directly competes with their own video offerings. They'll try to kill it by instituting bandwidth caps (like Time Warner is trying to do) and when that fails they will offer a "video-grade" service that costs a shitload more then a regular internet connection.

    Where would the internet be if nobody had invested in upgrading beyond dialup technology?

  • Re:Slowdown (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:36AM (#22407366) Journal

    So there are viable alternatives to Cable Internet

    Neither one of those options you provided is "viable" if you want to stream video or use VoIP. Streaming video will often require more then 1Mbit (Netflix goes up to 2.2Mbits for the highest quality -- just wait for HDTV and that will probably be 8Mbits or more) and the latency on either of those solutions is usually too high to work effectively for VoIP.

  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:43AM (#22407464) Journal

    None of the three are great options, #1 hurts everybody, not just the heavy users. #2 keeps the prices low for most, at the expense of the heavy users, and #3 hurts everybody in general.

    Upgrading their network isn't an option?

    would be agreeable to temporary bandwith reductions (maybe 25% to 50%) for heavy useres during peak usage periods.

    I wouldn't be agreeable to those. The applications that are used by the minority of internet users today are going to become mainstream tomorrow. Everybody is slamming bittorrent but missing the point that internet video is probably going to be the next killer app.

    I don't know about you, but the typical "infringing" bittorrent download in my experience doesn't exceed 1 - 2Mbits because they usually have an unfavorable seeder/leecher ratio. Contrast that to Netflix instant view which consumes more then 2Mbits the entire time you are watching it.

    If they can't handle either of the above then how the hell are they going to handle HD video streams? Should we just give up on IP-Video because the cable companies say they can't handle it? Why did we even bother upgrading from dialup technology if they aren't going to be able to keep pace with the times?

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:46AM (#22407524) Homepage Journal

    Only if you are one of the dumbasses that thinks p2p == infringement.

    This internet HDTV show is a perfectly legitimate use of bittorrent

    But by whom is the use legitimate? Most residential Internet access plans offered by the last-mile duopoly have a stipulation that residential subscribers MUST NOT[1] "run a server" on the connection. So even if it isn't an infringement on anyone's copyright, seeding a torrent might still be an infringement on the exclusive rights of the owner of the last-mile physical medium.

    [1] RFC 2119 [ietf.org]

  • Re:Slowdown (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:51AM (#22407614) Journal

    What makes you think Verizon (or whomever) won't throttle traffic on a FiOS network in the same way?

    Because Verizon's main source of revenue isn't derived from video or intellectual property. Because they are losing POTS customers left and right and need SOMETHING to use as a contrast between themselves and the cable cos that are kicking their ass. And because they've come out and said that they don't think bandwidth caps are the "right direction for us".

    I fucking loathe Verizon for some of their actions (especially those of Verizon Wireless) but they've been on the right side of this issue for as long as I can remember. If that changes they will deserve our scorn but I don't think it's fair to give it to them just yet.

  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:57AM (#22407712) Journal

    Most residential Internet access plans offered by the last-mile duopoly have a stipulation that residential subscribers MUST NOT[1] "run a server" on the connection

    The classical definition of "server" would also preclude hosting that FPS game for your buddies or even mIRC's ident daemon if you want to get REALLY technical about it. I could also point out that most BT clients will work just fine (albeit with fewer peers) behind NAT without port forwarding, and an application that can't accept incoming connections hardly qualifies as a "server".

    So even if it isn't an infringement on anyone's copyright, seeding a torrent might still be an infringement on the exclusive rights of the owner of the last-mile physical medium.

    It could be if they decided to enforce it in such a manner. But I doubt they'd get away with it. Besides, if they really wanted to try that, then why not just NAT all of your customers? That would solve those pesky "servers".

  • by Qzukk (229616) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @11:59AM (#22407738) Journal
    But in this case he paid you to drive him to the guy's house (located on Strained Analogy Place) and then home again. No force was applied.

    Well really it's more like I'm paying comcast to ship boxes back and forth from me to wherever they need to go, but rather than spending the money I give them for the service on buying more trucks or paying for gas, they just dump the boxes in a field somewhere, then run crying to mommy government when people demand to know why they're dumping boxes instead of buying enough trucks to handle the shipments.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @12:00PM (#22407752)
    What is being discussed here is making Comcast liable for illicit p2p traffic it lets pass. While it's correct that not all p2p traffic is illegal, it's not really relevant to this discussion.
    Parent is not flamebait. Offtopic, maybe.
  • by russ1337 (938915) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @12:01PM (#22407764)

    This is kind of like an all-you-can-eat buffet having the local pro football team stopping by for supper after practice five times a week. After a while, the restaraunt starts to loose money. They then have three choices: 1) Raise prices. 2) Put limits on the service. 3) Go out of business. None of the three are great options, #1 hurts everybody, not just the heavy users. #2 keeps the prices low for most, at the expense of the heavy users, and #3 hurts everybody in general.
    I'm not sure I agree 100% with your analogy. It's more like you only have 100 seats, and every night paying customers are filling them, leaving cues of people waiting outside. The answer is get more seats -i.e spend some more of their 13 billion [google.com] gross profit on infrastructure to meet the growing demand.

    Interesting fact: The same number of Old people eat FAR more than a football team. This comes directly from a friend who ran a restaurant with a lunchtime buffet. I said to him I thought young people would take advantage, but he reckons young people tend to eat during the day, so 'all you can eat' is less. Old people however: They *plan* to go to an all you can eat and get the most for their money. They don't eat breakfast, and make that their only meal of the day - and they're usually have much larger stomachs from years of practice and riding those little cart things. He had busloads of sports teams stopping in, but was much more fearful of bus loads of oldies on a tour coach. - He tried serving more slowly, but they just stayed longer till they were full. - same as p2p. Someone downloading at their full rate will do so even if that rate is lower - just for longer. p2p downloading a movie will still 'eat' the same number of bits. If you want to sell more bandwidth, then you have to *have more to sell*. So more seats - more pipes.

  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @12:05PM (#22407806)
    >Upgrading their network isn't an option?

    Upgrading to what exactly? Double the speed. Fine now all my torrents are twice as fast.

    The idea is that if 5% use 90% of the bandwidth its time to start adderssing that in a fair and honest manner. If that means I have to move up to a Pro account and I get all the bandwidth advertised to me, then thats fine. Unfortunately, too many people have a free lunch mentality when it comes to bandwidth and media downloads.

    Seems to be working fine for the T1/T3 system. Want bandwidth? Pay for it. No more of this fake unlimited marketing bs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @12:07PM (#22407818)
    awesome suggestion. for only $42/mo, you get to share your blazing fast 1.5Mbit/s connection. of course, dsl will cost less (~$15) and gives you nearly the same speed...
  • by harrkev (623093) <kfmsd@harrelsonfa[ ]y.org ['mil' in gap]> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @12:11PM (#22407876) Homepage

    Upgrading their network isn't an option?

    Yes, it is. That is covered under the "raise prices" option. Apparently you missed that part.

    Internet service providers are not in this for the warm fuzzy feelings of helping people. They do it for a profit. Network upgrades raise costs. Yes, they are a necessary part of business, but they also cost.

    You are right that more and more bandwidth will be needed. They will have to upgrade in the future. Evrhything in a business is a balancing act. If you don't upgrade, people complain and flee. You loose. If you upgrade too fast, you spend all of your money, can't pay your bills, and go out of business. You loose. The key is to upgrade at the right speed. I am not in the business. I do not know what the right speed is. What I am saying is "no, you can't have a pony (infinite speed internet for free)." The easiest job on the football team is armchair quarterback.
  • by Some_Llama (763766) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @12:12PM (#22407900) Homepage Journal
    "Fine now all my torrents are twice as fast."

    and take half as long.

    if you are downloading at 3-6 Mb/s and they upgrade everyone to 100Mb/s that's a 15-30x increase, so instead of something taking 8 hours to seed it takes less than 20 min.

    That would relieve congestion, unless you are hosting the library of congress.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @12:13PM (#22407910) Journal

    I find it funny that you're willfully ignoring the fact that a much larger majority consists of material that does infringe on copyrights.

    I'm not "willfully ignoring" it, I just don't see how it changes anything. If Comcast can't handle a minority of their users running bittorrent then how are they going to handle internet video becoming mainstream?

    One of the reasons that innovation on the internet has been so successful is that we've had a level playing field. The ISPs kept up with demand by investing in infrastructure upgrades and new technologies. What happens to that level playing field when the ISPs see no reason to invest in upgrades and instead opt to restrict the activity of their users? Is the internet still going to look like it does today in 20 years?

  • by Thansal (999464) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @12:21PM (#22408046)
    The argument here is this:

    ISPs are currently not liable for what illegal things their customers do with the service provided.
    One of the reasonings behind this is that they should not be mining traffic enough to know wth is going on. (IANAL, this is a bad explanation)
    Comcast says that they SHOULD be mining traffic to shape it and see wth is going on.
    Comcast should then be held liable for any illegal activities that they 'know' about because of this monitoring.

    get it now?

    Personally, I don't know if I agree or disagree. Mostly because I don't really understand how much monitoring they are doing, and just what the legal grounds are that protect the ISPs currently.

    On the note of them shaping traffic? I have not much of problem with Comcast shaping traffic as they see fit, well, at least now that they admit it. They are a company and can do what ever the hell they want so long as it is with in the law, and does not defraud/mislead customers/potential customers. I will never use their service, but I still think they are allowed to do what they want. Only problem is that many people have no choice, and there it IS a problem.
  • Port 25 egress (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nsayer (86181) * <[moc.ufk] [ta] [reyasn]> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @12:22PM (#22408054) Homepage
    Here's the issue. I'm all for net neutrality, myself. But a legitimate argument against it is that it would eliminate the ability of ISPs to block port 25 egress, which would lead to a multiplication of the number of spam bots out there. So do we say that ISPs must be net-neutral except for TCP port 25? It's the camel's nose.

  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @12:24PM (#22408100) Journal

    The idea is that if 5% use 90% of the bandwidth its time to start adderssing that in a fair and honest manner.

    And what happens when the other 95% of your users discover internet video? Or do you think that these services are going to remain obscure forever?

  • by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @12:44PM (#22408374) Homepage Journal

    This is kind of like an all-you-can-eat buffet having the local pro football team stopping by for supper after practice five times a week. After a while, the restaraunt starts to loose money. They then have three choices:
    1) Raise prices.
    2) Put limits on the service.
    3) Go out of business.
    None of the three are great options, #1 hurts everybody, not just the heavy users. #2 keeps the prices low for most, at the expense of the heavy users, and #3 hurts everybody in general.
    I agree that they should be free to implement #2. But then they can't tell the newspaper that anyone who eats too much, will have their food taken away. They need to specify to the customers what "too much" entails -- exact enough that the customer can plan what to eat, and not suddenly have his plate jerked away from under him because him eating all that roast beef is hurting other customers.
    And it needs to be stopped marketed as "all you can eat" -- even with a microscopic footnote telling "as long as you don't eat 'too much'". In this case, Comcast gives the customers the impression that they get an unlimited service at the advertised speed, and that's misleading. Doubly so. Deliberately so. Deceptively so. Fraudulently so.
  • by thrillseeker (518224) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:04PM (#22408600)
    they advertise an unlimited service which they have no intentions of delivering ... is this false advertising ?

    No - it's fraud.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:26PM (#22408944)

    if you are downloading at 3-6 Mb/s and they upgrade everyone to 100Mb/s that's a 15-30x increase, so instead of something taking 8 hours to seed it takes less than 20 min.
    What in this scenerio leads you to believe people won't use the rest of that seven hours and forty minutes to download other things?

    In dreaded car analogy terms, widening a road doesn't necessarily reduce congestion because the number of cars on the road will increase.
  • by Agripa (139780) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:29PM (#22408992)
    IPv6 over IPv4 tunneling to the rescue! And as a bonus, not only does the loss of efficiency mean more total traffic but everything can be encrypted using IPSEC.

    I KNEW porn and p2p would speed the adoption of IPv6.
  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:01PM (#22409518)
    But we're talking about throttling, not tiered bandwidth. The whole point of net neutrality is that an ISP should not be able to hold data hostage for more money based on it's type, destination, or their own perception of it's importance.

    If I pay $19.95 per month for 2Mbps, and you pay $199.95 per month for 20Mbps, then I have just as much right to complain if ANYTHING I transfer is limited to below 2Mbps, as you do to complain if your traffic is artificially slowed to less than 20Mbps.
  • by WizADSL (839896) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @05:28PM (#22412370)
    I remember when Comcast introduced their first "bandwidth" limit where they started sending letters to customers that were downloading too much in one month (never mind that they will not admit there is a limit). Those that defended this action would say "Comcast isn't limiting how FAST you can download, just how much". It seems that with this newer (I know it's been going on for a while) throttling they are now also limiting how FAST I can download something too. If I have and 8 meg connection with no advertised usage cap and I can't download over a certain amount without getting a nasty letter and I can't actually download at 8 megs if they don't approve of the content then what the hell are they selling and what am I paying for?

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