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« Twitter comes to the rescue a UC Berkeley graduate journalism student | Main | The week of April 21st in My Digital Life »

April 18, 2008


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Chris Carlin

The thing is, Comcast's filtering of P2P filesharing makes for a positive environment for consumers who don't want to do participate in such filesharing. Blocking that traffic-hungry beast leaves more capacity free for the web browsing, youtube watching, DMCA-respecting crowd.

Once again this turns into a case where you're assuming the rest of the world wants the features you do. This time I happen to be in your group, wanting unmangled access, but I recognize that plenty aren't interested in this feature.

The real problem is that Comcast doesn't advertise its policy of "targeting" its bandwidth toward non-P2P use... but then all ISPs do blocking and it's just industry standard practice not to.

In the end we just have to vote with our dollars: want P2P? Don't go with Comcast. Don't care about P2P? Comcast might very well be your best bet.

Chris Carlin

Oh, I forgot to say, I suspect that they're not targeting remote assistance specifically.

It could either be an arcane technical issue--I seem to recall FIOS having funky MTU and such--or just accidental misclassification of the traffic. Either way it should be fixed, but it's one of those "be careful what you assume" cases.

Stephen Skarlatos

Chris, The problem is that many consumers don't have a choice. Take my mother's situation; currently she can only get Comcast in her condo, DSL is not even an option so if you want Broadband, you are pretty much stuck. I also believe there are better ways of managing bandwidth like targeting the users who are responsible for traffic which exceed normal usage. Obviously this would need to be spelled out in the terms and conditions.

On the Remote Assistance frontm I agree they are not targeting the application, it just happens that they are blocking certain required ports. What I find baffling is that they target traffic coming from Verizon FIOS and not Verizon Wireless...

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