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How Telcos and ISPs Are Preparing For a Pandemic 107

alphadogg writes "Network operators and IT professionals already worried about how hurricanes and financial meltdowns will impact their work lives can add another potential catastrophe to their list of concerns: a global pandemic. During a panel sponsored by the FCC in Washington, D.C. this week, representatives from telecom carriers and ISPs discussed what steps they've been taking to prepare for the mass outbreak of a disease such as influenza, and also described the needs and challenges they would have to meet to keep communications up and running during a major global crisis. The most important tool at ISPs' disposal during a serious pandemic, panelists agreed, was that of network and bandwidth management controls."

Comcast Discloses Throttling Practices 206

Wired reports that Comcast finally provided information on its network management practices late Friday. In a report to the FCC (PDF), the cable company admitted to targeting P2P protocols Ares, BitTorrent, eDonkey, FasTrack, and Gnutella. Quoting: "For each of the managed P2P protocols, the [Sandvine Policy Traffic Switch] monitors and identifies the number of simultaneous unidirectional uploads that are passed from the [Cable Modem Termination System] to the upstream router. Because of the prevalence of P2P traffic on the upstream portion of our network, the number of simultaneous unidirectional upload sessions of any particular P2P protocol at any given time serves as a useful proxy for determining the level of overall network congestion. For each of the protocols, a session threshold is in place that is intended to provide for equivalently fair access between the protocols, but still mitigate the likelihood of congestion that could cause service degradation for our customers."

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas