Stemming the Torrent

There is a fascinating battle going on in the US with cable operator and ISP, COMCAST, being accused of interfering with BitTorrent uploading. Comcast’s defence is that peer-to-peer video files are very large and that, at busy traffic times, they have to regulate traffic into an orderly flow.

The means by which they do so is what has become contentious and this article from the New York Times is a useful backgrounder on some of the issues.

For me what is interesting is the capacity to throttle (I make no judgments about Comcast) and how it is directly attached to net neutrality. I’ve raised this before re file-sharing and/or massive internet usage It’s interesting to see how large an issue it is becoming.

I’ve added here an rss feed from Daily Motion with goodbackground on history etc

End of cracked record.

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2 Responses

  1. Comcast are also, evidently, in the business of casting “extras”, to support their case in court!!!
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/27/comcast_rigs_net_neutrality_hearing/

    Also, I’m interested that in the US metered services for the Internet (charging for different speeds and downloads) seem rare and are considered infringing on net neutrality – or have I got that wrong? Here in OZ its all part of the service from the ISP and we are used to being segregated into types of users based on what we pay for speed and use.

  2. I think Comcast and others like them are acting just like long established cable-TV monopolies in the US over the last 25-30 years. And when you think about if they are the main – or in many cases – the only choice as an ISP, then they potentially could have more control or monopoly power than ever. Except that in recent months, we’re not just seeing this impact access speeds (or restriction thereof) but also filtering of content – particularly content critical of them.

    In Oz digital legislation does put substantial onus on ISP’s to “filter” and manage content, but so practically that’s been just about impossible. But perhaps it just a matter of time before both content and access could be restricted at the ISP’s behest. Consumers need to be forewarned – and forearmed..

    HMP

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