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back to article FCC boss reshapes hardline stance on Comcast

FCC boss Kevin Martin has said he doesn't want the regulator to fine Comcast for deploying traffic shaping its cable network. Instead, he wants the FCC to order Comcast to do what Comcast has already promised to do: use more transparent traffic shaping techniques, and disclose them fully to users. Chairman Martin needs the …

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Whats the point

If you are not going to fine them.

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ZM

Pretty much...

...expected, actually.

I wonder who paid off whom?

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It's laying groundwork

The FCC has to establish that it has the authority to issue fines in the future if some company steps out of line and refuses to change its ways. Fines would be non-productive in this case because Comcast has already committed to change out their traffic management system to one that works with a bit more precision. So they're already paying a fine in effect, but to the manufacturer of the new system rather than to the FCC. And that's a good thing, actually.

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@kain preacher

The point is that Comcast broke no laws ... engaged in no action that called for a fine or even any type of punishment. It's not illegal to use traffic-shaping technology, and they never once stopped anyone from receiving what they tried to receive ... it just took a bit longer and a few more connections than they expected. The extrtemely limited consumer complaint was that Comcast interrupted offending torrents, or throttled them down so they didn't take ALL of the bandwidth on whatever line they were operating, as BitTorrent does.

Frankly, in this particular case and as long as they come through with the transparency promises, I'm on Comcast's side. As I've mentioned before, BitTorrent (and current torrent technology, without exception) is a "bad idea". It's a greedy, bandwidth-hogging approach to file transfers that completely ignores the Internet community at large and gives a few selfish users the ability to slow their particular loop to a crawl, just because they want to get a copy of whatever a little faster than their cable broadband can provide.

BitTorrent is crappy, poorly-conceived tech that deserves to be outlawed as a public service.

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@James Butler

"Comcast interrupted offending torrents, or throttled them down so they didn't take ALL of the bandwidth on whatever line they were operating, as BitTorrent does."

Err did more than that to me. If I run torrent program my entire internet was throttle for the next hour. Even after I shut the torrent program down.

"and they never once stopped anyone from receiving what they tried to receive "

Um yes they did. The reset the packets thats not shaping thats a form of denial of service.

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Not just torrents

They were also issuing RSTs on legitimate business ports, such as 1352 (Notes), which was causing a lot of pain for mobile workers trying to stay in contact with their offices (although Comcast did eventually acknowledge this).

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Boffin

I agree (somewhat) with Comcast...

We clearly DO need "Net-Neutrality" codified into Law.

Comcast proved this... (especially, in light of Comcasts flat-out lying about the, alleged, existence, purpose, and and actual traffic-BLOCKING methodologies which were clearly-demonstrated to have actually been used).

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Tom
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I'm one of the most gung-ho, 'Go business! Fo!' people you'll ever run into

Comcast was wrong, and they did break laws. Comcast advertises X fast internet connection, where X is some number larger then 3Mbs depending on the region where you live. They sent reset packets that prohibited use of a legal program on the internet. At a minimum they are guilty of false advertising. More likely they have failed to uphold their part of the agreement to have access to a public right of way and deserve to be fined. And no, I don't use bit torrent.

Right now I'm agnostic on Net-Neutrality as I can see good arguments on both sides. But the one thing which is required regardless of which side of the argument you are on, is that the operating condition of the connection be clearly disclosed in the terms of the agreement. And no, I don't mean buried on page 324, paragraph 78, sentence 5 of the agreement.

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