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back to article Please ignore the net neutrality sideshow haunting Comcast's BitTorrent bust

According to narrow-minded ideologues on both sides of the increasingly childish debate over net neutrality, Comcast's infamous BitTorrent throttling is all about, well, net neutrality. But it's not. It's about Comcast lying to its consumers, the press, the FCC, and everyone else with even a passing interest in getting what they …

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Baah

Comcast won't get punished. They're in cahoots with the FEDs in spying on Amerikans. To think the FCC is going to do anything to them or any ISP on behalf of the sheeple is delusional. It's a PR show to make it look like something is being done. The lobby bribes all the politicos in advance. P2P is a hazard to all political groupthink because it takes power and control away from them. If any medium can circumvent their system of controls, they aren't going to like it. And that's what p2p does. As p2p starts containing more dissenting information in it's content, and as people flock to it for more personal security and control( which they are already doing), you will see the GOVs of all nations try to stamp it out. It will be in the name of euphemisms such as "protecting the children", "piracy" and "terrorism" of course. What it actually is, is the mask coming off the putrid face of this twisted fascist/socialist/pinko world conglomerate that has steadily tried to solidify control over the past 100 years.

It's about time the people of all countries pop the head of this putrid zit of collectivist political control. And start making businesses that support unethical and criminal behavior held responsible for their actions and run out of business.

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@Bickus

twisted fascist/socialist/pinko.......ROFL

Much more likely is right wing/fascist/neocon conspiracy.

Boy you really drink the kool aid!

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Damn, Cade.

Are you and Andrew O. going to engage in some sort of manly showdown after this article? You know, Mano-a-Mano in the Thunderdome? Two men enter, one man leaves? I'd pay good money to see that.

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Paris Hilton

Occam's Razor

So tell me again, Comcast did what it did because:

a) they're part of the vast corporate conspiracy to bring illegal file sharers to their knees

b) they're trying to keep 95% of their client base happy by knocking down bandwidth hogs so the rest of us can email and browse with decent response time

I'm voting b, and the rest of the nutters out there yelling "NET NEUTRALITY" can go kiss Paris' fine fundament.

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Really..?

>> "b) they're trying to keep 95% of their client base happy by knocking down bandwidth hogs so the rest of us can email and browse with decent response time...

I'm voting b..."

Find the KOOL-AID, tasty... do you..? Sad.

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Paris Hilton

Truth in Advertising

"overselling" is very common in the industry, and as long as customers didn't try to actually use what they thought they were paying for, it was no problem.

Now that so much broadband content is available, the chicken bits are coming home to roost. You are not a bandwidth hog if you are just using what you pay for.

We are already seeing new pricing models from various ISPs for example, Verizon's 5G per month wireless service.

When Paris is president, she will fix all of this.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Occam's Razor

What about

c) because they want to keep the money they got for building new infrastructure rather than pay for it.

In Canada the Comcast internal documents show that their infrastructure is full %3 of the time so the throttling wasn't needed. That 95% of their customers are pissed off is because Comcast are shite.

Shit, PH knows about the fallacy of the excluded middle I bet...

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Stop

@Raif

The issue isn't why they did it, and I'm with you on that, the issue is that they ISP advertised one thing and delivered another.

When I signed up with my ISP I chose the package they RECOMMENDED for low bittorrent users - which I am. I've just switched ISP because my low use of bittorrent causes them to throttle my connection - not just bittorrent, but everything. At least they had the good grace to notify me of a change in T's and C's before they did it though, so I knew what I was getting.

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fair's fair

If the ISP has sold 'always-on multi-Mbit' capacity to joe public at X$ per month and then finds it needs to bandwidth throttle certain users, surely the ISP will be 'throttling' their bills to the affected users by the same ratio?

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Anonymous Coward

Bandwidth Hog.

IMO, you're a bandwidth hog if you download more in a month than you can physically view in that time.

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Coat

David Davis for PM!

"Anti camp said that sometimes discrimination is the best way to avoid some serious network congestion."

Giveing people the bandwidth they contracted for is the best way to avoid network congestion.

Can you imagine if restaurants did this with food? Showrooms did it with cars?

The only other place I see this kind of shennannigins happening is "traffic management" in UK cities, where the "answers" to congestion, are, so perversely, bus lanes, bendybuses, cycle lanes, speed bumps and congestion charges, all of which increase oil consumption and pollutoin substanatially.

Ruling class is too inbred, time for a cull!

Mine is the one with some uncommonsense in the pocket.

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Flame

What's the problem?

P2P is used primarily (wholly?) for the prorogation of copyrighted material (movies, songs, software etc). By throttling P2P Comcast was merely preventing a crime of massive scale occurring. Only those people doing massive P2P shares (i.e. illegal file sharers hogging all the bandwidth) would be affected, those using the net legally wouldn't notice the difference.

To the P2Pers who will claim "Oh, but I use it for my WibbleMonkey Linux distro...". Yeah. Riiiiiiiiiiiight. Just use a normal file download off a server as you have broadband, or get it on CD. For every distro torrent, there are thousands of illegal files; everyone knows what P2P is really used for, despite what you say.

Comcast should really be applauded for their actions in throttling P2P, although they should have blocked it completely.

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It is the wild wild internet.

And really not ready for business use and won't be for about 50 years.

The Internet is a toy and a not particularly good toy, we can have deep packet inspection break any business application at any point (hello, guess how I wasted my last month.)

Blocking entire chunks of IPs, yeah that means your customer can't even email you from some parts of the world.

A toy.

The Internet is pretty well useless.

Never will be a good business model.

(but will make a lot of us a limited amount of money because we can keep "fixing it" when some dorky company "breaks it".)

Carry on, dorks.

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@Bickus

"P2P is a hazard to all political groupthink because it takes power and control away from them. If any medium can circumvent their system of controls, they aren't going to like it. And that's what p2p does. As p2p starts containing more dissenting information in it's content, and as people flock to it for more personal security and control( which they are already doing), you will see the GOVs of all nations try to stamp it out."

In your dreams, boyo. Block one protocol and people will simply invent another. Block peer to peer over the internet and somebody will create a system that uses ad-hoc networks of WiFi devices (anybody remember packet radio?) to pass stuff around and avoid the internet and bandwidth caps entirely. This is the lesson that the studios and recording labels have yet to really learn. There are 1001+ ways to 'share' - bittorrent is just the current one.

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Alien

Fraud

Is exactly what this is. The same problem is present in abundance here in the UK. ISPs sell "unlimited" packages subject to vague FUPs which throttle anyone trying to get what they paid for. They are not preserving quality of service for those who "fairly" use their network, they're keeping up the number of people they can rip off at once without network upgrades.

A simple, clear, pricing model with set GB limits and set charges above those limits. We're already seeing this and it is the way forward.

Fox Mulder wouldn't take this from the "twisted fascist/socialist/pinko world conglomerate"

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Just wondering...

..what impact, if any, this might have on UK... given the recent excitement about cracking down on illegal file sharers.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/25/filesharing_mou/

It's pretty clear that sharing copyrighted files is illegal, but how can the ISPs ever know? And if I have a right, given in the terms of my contract, to use a file sharing application how can the ISPs legally stop me using it?

This was my first thought when I read about Virgin and the like sending out letters. How do you know I'm not distributing my own files, or any files that are publically and legally available?

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Comcast, the FCC and the APA

Comcast may well escape FCC regulation this time,if not next. Even the Commission can't impose sanctions for violating a non-existent Rule, and (as yet) there's no rule imposing Net Neutrality. We'd know! The Administrative Procedures Act requires a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, a period of public Comment, Reply Comments, and formal adoption of a Rule. Anyone remember seeing this?

US regulatory agencies do get slaps on the wrist from time to time for "arbitrary and capricious" decisions; look at the recent decision against the FCC at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals:

http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/04/25/10064/?nc=1

IMO, the FCC isn't the palce to look; the Federal Trade Commission might have something to say!

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Anonymous Coward

Like the problem BBC caused in the UK

This reminds me of the problem the BBC caused here with iPlayer. They have caused ISP's to have to invest in more bandwidth to carry their tat repeats and steadfastly refused to acknowledge they have caused a problem. Next thing you know ISP's are dreaming up reasons to throttle everyone elses use rather than pick a fight with the guardian reading window-lickers and their free publicity machine.

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Happy

"Fido, here boy!"...

"P2P is a hazard to all political groupthink because it takes power and control away from them. If any medium can circumvent their system of controls, they aren't going to like it. And that's what p2p does. As p2p starts containing more dissenting information in it's content, and as people flock to it for more personal security and control( which they are already doing), you will see the GOVs of all nations try to stamp it out."

Dial-up Bulletin Boards. Bring back FidoNet. You know it makes sense!

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Re: Just wondering...

It then goes back to what it used to be: the copyright owner has to police the infringement of THEIR copyrights, not palm the work *but not the money* on to the government or ISP.

This is why Sony remains solvent: I would have sued them for infringing on the GPL code for LAME in their rootkit except for the fact that only the copyright holder can institute a copyright claim in court.

Sony infringed several MILLION copies and at £30,000 each (or more because it was willful infringement and for profit) this would have been BILLIONS in damages, maybe hundreds of billions.

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Re: What's the problem?

"P2P is used primarily (wholly?) for the prorogation of copyrighted material (movies, songs, software etc). "

Well since EVERYTHING is copyrighted (now that it is OK to steal from the public domain) this is tautologically true. It isn't a lot of use, however. This message is copyrighted and HTTP is used primarily (wholly?) for the propagation of copyrighted material (like this message, movies [88% of youtube is not infringing material], songs, software [GPL] etc [creative commons]).

So what's the problem?

Just from the opposite side you've taken...

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@Bickus

A brilliant bit of satire and perfect flamebait. I came with in seconds of falling for it.

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Black Helicopters

@AC that likes Comcast

Comcast should not be applauded for throttling traffic.

Comcast should not be applauded for selling an X speed unlimited service and then not supplying it - that is in fact illegal and should be punished very publicly.

Very often corporations like Comcast, Dow, RIAA, MPAA, BPI, British Telecom etc think they are above the law.

The fact is that whilst governments accept their money in return for passing legislation and forcing people to do what they want, and whilst governments in turn pay them money for access to all our internet browsing data and purchase histories, contact details, identification, photographs, friends and family etc...

...yes that's right people.

Governments accept money to change or create laws for corporations, and corporations get paid by the governments so that the governments can look at our credit card details, address history, contact details, date of birth, mothers maiden name, passwords, photographs of our family and friends, what pron we like, music we like, movies we watch, where we go on holiday, emails, conspiracy theories, if we are taking an interest in anything in the world and what things we are reading about in the news or on the web generally.

Everything about your entire lives.

Do you still want to applaud Comcast and companies like them?

Do you still support the governments you elected and the politicians you definately did not elect?

Pass the Kool Aid, I need to go on a trip and get out of this crazy ass world.

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Bronze badge

It's all about the liars

Here in the UK, with the BBC doing its iPlayer thing, the ISPs were screaming about the load on their networks. That's an entirely legal kind of traffic.

But since, in my experience, they're lying their heads off about what they're selling you, even that's a red herring.

I don't object to throttling, giving preference to email and the web, at times of high load. Slow things enough, and some connections will time out. That's the way things work out.

Comcast were lying, and, I gather, sending fake packets to break connections. They were actively interfering with the traffic, and all that implies.

This is part of net neutrality. If the ISPs are liars, how do we know what they are doing? If they say they are being neutral, can we believe them?

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Anonymous Coward

"block peer to peer over the internet"

Wait - what was the internet again?

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Re: What's the problem?

"P2P is used primarily (wholly?) for the prorogation of copyrighted material (movies, songs, software etc)."

D'oh

1) There are many legit applications that use bittorrent - the massively popular iPlayer and 4oD to name but two.

2) If you're read the article you'd know that the main problem was that Comcast repeatedly lied about their actions, not the throttling itself.

3) If i pay for an internet connection it's not the right of the ISP to unilaterally decide what it's going to let me access without very clear due notification. I'm sure that if your ISP decided that it didn't want you reading El Reg, because you could be doing something more useful, you wouldn't be too impressed.

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A little more on Sony

I suppose that I should up the numbers too because of piracy. After all, if Jammie is responsible for potentially unlimited numbers of people copying one of the 24 tracks she shared, then Sony are responsible for the piracy of their rootkitted CD causing more infringement of the LAME copyrights.

And Sony keeps on telling us how much is lost to piracy, so that must be a HUGE number of piracted CD's. Potentially all of them with LAME copyrighted code on them!

Trillions!!!!

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Pirate

It seems clear enough

If Comcast had good intentions then they would have been open and honest about what they were doing from the start, rather than hiding their activities then lying about them.

Then there's the particular form that this "traffic management" took, which is far more like hackers' activity than professional conduct. Injecting fake RST packets is not quite the same thing as throttling bandwidth for legitimate reasons, it's more like the kind of behaviour one might expect from MAFIAA® thugs like Media Defender and MediaSentry (whose activities are also being investigated as possibly illegal).

Yes there certainly is a conspiracy here, but it's no secret, in fact it's painfully obvious. Comcast capitulated to the demands of the MAFIAA® thugs to sabotage P2P activities on their network, did so indiscriminately using techniques akin to hackers, and then lied about it because they knew they were doing wrong.

I hope they, and the MAFIAA® thugs they now represent, get well and truly hammered by litigation, then go bankrupt. They deserve no less.

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Paris Hilton

RE: Anonymous Coward

"IMO, you're a bandwidth hog if you download more in a month than you can physically view in that time."

So how many characters can you read a month? On the other hand one could watch one hell of a lot of Paris Offers Relief Naturale.

ISP's ain't delivering what they promised it's that simple. It needs a tighter defined contract that clearly defines "fair use" and the level of service available. There are users with 'four feet in the trough' and they should be capped after exceeding a clearly defined 'fair use' policy.

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@What's the problem? By AC

lol, WibbleMonkey Linux distro.... nice

: )

Your argument may have held some water a few years ago, however the majority of media companies, BSkyB, BBC, ITV who offer a TV over IP service do so by P2P. Why because P2P is a very efficient form of downloading large files because on the whole P2P incorperates some form of decentralisation (be it torrent or gnutella), which helps take the load of the content provider's servers.

This isn't just a fad and more and more media companies are starting to ship content over the internet, content that of course is copyrighted, however content that is licensed by the copyright holder to be transmitted over the internet. So this is a prime example of legal use of P2P. So if you start restricting P2P, you are restricting e-commerce.

I am sure this is all news to you as it seems you only use the internet to do some 'left handed' surfing of the web and send emails.

What's next throttling of IP packets sent via Xbox's and PS3, because too many people are playing games over the internet? If ISP's have sold a particular product they should be held accountable when they don't deliver.

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Coat

@ grahame

"This reminds me of the problem the BBC caused here with iPlayer. They have caused ISP's to have to invest in more bandwidth to carry their tat repeats and steadfastly refused to acknowledge they have caused a problem. Next thing you know ISP's are dreaming up reasons to throttle everyone elses use rather than pick a fight with the guardian reading window-lickers and their free publicity machine."

Nothing to do with the BBC or Guardian readers and everything to do with the ISPs who have under invested in their business and oversold the resulting heap of shit.

Apparently, yours is the one with the Daily Mail sticking out of the pocket.

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Paris Hilton

Tossers

If I buy a Ferrari that can do 180 mph is it alright for me to run around the motorways doing 180 mph ? Course not. The rest of you muggles are doing 70 or slower.

So, do I lauch a class action suit against Ferrari because they gave me a car that I am limited by the highway speed limits?

All P2P is used for illegal file sharing. If and it's a big IF, some legal stuff needs to be distributed and the authors can't afford the bandwidth then there are multiple free (as in FREE, not costing you anything) sites which host file hosting for legitimate files. Just use them.

Even Paris has more grasp on reality than most of you it seems.

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Black Helicopters

@Bickus Dickus

"And start making businesses that support unethical and criminal behavior held responsible for their actions and run out of business."

ahahahahahahahaha....that's funny, mate. so what happens when 99% of big business is out of business? Hope you're planning on locking up all their top brass while you're at it....hahahahaha

what most still fail to get is that all the big ISPs are in bed with big media for the distribution rights to movies, tv, music; you name it. they want to suppress anything that might negatively impact their delivery of media to their customers on the "net" since that's where their bread and butter lies.

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Stop

@AC

Sorry, the Ferrari metaphor does not work. The point here is that ComCast sold a service that they said ran at 'speed x' when actually it ran at 'speed y' because it had been crippled, hence misrepresentation. If Ferrari sold a car they *said* could do 180mph, and I took that car to a track day and found that its maximum speed was 70mph I'd sue the prancing horse off their bonnet and quite right too.

Alternatively if I knowingly broke the law and got caught, I'd have to be prepared to accept the punishment - or not break the law in the first place.

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Anonymous Coward

To those who are obviously blind followers of these ISPs...

... here's a link to another ISP that is at least decent enough to publish their service:

http://www.pldt.com.ph/prod-serv/business/bizdsl.htm

Scroll down the "Corporate Internet Packages" and look at the "CIR". If you don't see that same thing in your contract w/ your ISP, then you are being sold BURST BANDWIDTH. Yes, its a package not for the consumers, but at least you know that your 15mbps connection has no CIR, hence no really have no right to any bandwidth except leftovers

So good luck to those who wants to keep living in their own pathetic little fantasy world. Sucks to be you!

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Not only P2P

Comcast was "busting" (forging reset packets) on many "uploads".

My neighbour went through a lot of head-scratching until he figured out that was why his scp (Secure Copy) of largish _work_ files to his employer's computer kept going awry.

Apparently Comcast had made the logical leap "Encrypted traffic -> must be pirates". As Richard Bennet mentioned, but obviously did not dwell on, they had an issue with their modems not throttling (_real_ throttling, as in delaying or dropping packets so the normal TCP mechanisms could detect congestion and back off) per their spec, so they "fixed it" by randomly resetting any upstream connection that "lasted too long", _regardless_ of whether anybody else was using the wire at the time.

Since we are apparently doing car analogies: they sold a car with a 55MPH governor, but the governor didn't work, so people could drive 70MPH, which looked bad for their claim of a working governor. The solution was to randomly shoot the tires of any car not standing still, lowering the average speed a bit.

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Happy

@AC Again

...and you clearly haven't been on a UK motorway for several years, the *average* speed has been over 80mph for some time...

Hope your knowledge of ISP bandwidth management is a little more up-to-date.

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Flame

@To those who are obviously blind followers of these ISPs

Oh dear....

Sucks to be stupid too.

Whilst ISP's can't guaranty a particular speed due traffic and noise, and the T&C's generally have several indemnity clauses spelling this out. It is something else for an ISP to restrict service unless it explicitly say they can in the SLA (such as data caps). Also if the ISP sold the service as unlimited then imposing a limit is breaking their service contract.

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oversubscribing is not my problem

Oversubscribing is common, and generally accepted. Not only in ISPs, but in airlines, doctors offices, heck even freeway design. The problem is not "should we allow oversubscribing" but when oversubscribing comes back to bite them "who's problem is it?"

I'll give you the answer: Just like with the airlines, it's THEIR problem. If you have a ticket for an overbooked flight, and you get bumped, they HAVE TO PAY YOU. The same should apply to ISPs. If they sell you unlimited access, up to some speed cap, and because of network congestion you get throttled to a lower speed, then they should have to compensate you for it, either in free time online, lowered bills, or outright in refunds.

It was their choice to subscribe you, their choice to set the limits for your access, and their mathematical prediction formula for over subscription. Your choice to use what you have been given is not your problem, and if they actively block or delay packets from your IP, then they're violating their agreement. We're all used to the idea that networks run slower at certain times in the day, and we all know we rarely if ever get the speeds we're sold. However, active processes that interfere with that must be prohibited, especially any that target specific applications, uses, or behaviors.

Here's what i propose: Oversubscription is fine, provided that 1) throttling is global to all accounts on a percentage basis, never on an individual IP, 2) bandwidth is not reduced by more than 30% at any point, 3) bandwidth is not throttled at all for more than 8 hours a day cumulative, and 4) packet loss is less than 1% for residential class connections (0.2% should be normal for business class). This is the difference between "oversubscribed" and "overbooked." If the network is "overbooked" for any neighborhood or group of users for more than 1% of the billing cycle, then all those users should get their monthly bill reduced by 25%, and an additional 25% for each additional 1% of time overbooked, and this bill reduction should be automatic and never user requested. The penalties for overbooking should be higher than expanding capacity, so hopefully few will ever see this kind of discounting, and we'll all have better running networks for it.

As far as download/upload caps? They admit that 5% of the users are problems for the network. Fine, lets set the the caps at a point such that 95% of users on a given subscription level do not pay overage charges. We'll further cap overage charges for any connection at the cost of the next highest connection tier. Beyond that, we'll throttle the connection to 50% of the lowest tier speed (about 1MB down, 128K up, which can't be further throttled for any reason) unless the user agrees to accepting further charges for access. The maximum allowable monthly charge, regardless of speed of connection or price tier, will be locked at $99.99 / month, and you can't be charged more than $20 above your current tier price without verbal or written confirmation. (no surprise bills). We'll require ISPs to increase the caps quarterly as necessary to ensure 90% of users in any 30 day cycle receive no additional billing. We'll allow the caps to be lowered only for new subscribers or for those on month to month billing (contractless customers).

As far as security management, I will allow ISPs to voluntarily block users from connecting to known sources of virus, phishing, and other malicious activity. For example, if we know that http://www.EBY.com is a phishing site mocking ebay, then we'll redirect that address to a warning site indicating the user either made a typo or followed a bad link. Additionally, I'd allow them to automatically quarantine incoming e-mails containing links to those same known bad addresses (provided they're recoverable if false positive), and provided those e-mails actually come through their servers (aka, not blocking 3rd party provided sources like gmail or MSN). The list of bad addresses should be 1) published and 2) provided by a 3rd party (so the ISP can't block sites they "feel" are bad). This should help limit identity theft and bot net activity.

Further, in their defense, if the ISP is CERTAIN that a machine at your address is infected (because say it's repeatedly trying to connect to a known IRC channel operated by virus writers, or that it keeps sending phishing spam through your personal account, etc), they should notify you, and if possible, block that SPECIFIC activity or SPECIFC system deemed infected, with as little impact to other systems as is possible. If they can't stop the particular infection activity (or don;t care to try) without impacting other activity, they should simply notify you. I do not approve of the ISP disconnecting you simply because you have an infection, though I do approve of them having a contract requirement for you to maintain "reasonable" security measures, including the use of a simple hardware firewall and any of the top 10 commonly accepted security software packages on your PC (at least one of which they should provide for free under your contract). If you're still infected after 30 days, have no security software installed and up to date, and can't provide a receipt from an engineer showing your PC was inspected and free of infection, then they should be permitted to quarantine your connection (though not completely disconnect it). On the other hand, false positives should be quickly discovered and compensated (check in hand within 5 business days, NOT a service discount), including the full cost of diagnostic charges, rental fees of temporary equipment if the diagnostics take longer than 24 hours, and compensation for any time needing to be taken off work, at your full hourly rate, plus any additional charges that might reasonably apply.

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Anonymous Coward

Re:@To those who are obviously blind followers of these ISPs

Ofcourse it is understandable if the guarantee is not met at some point if there is a problem that is beyond control: equiptment failure, natural calamity, accidents, etc. DUH!

"Whilst ISP's can't guaranty a particular speed due traffic..."

Oh dear... you didn't read the post (and checked the link). ISPs CAN guarantee bandwidth, its just that it has been industry practice to sell to consumers service WITHOUT CIR. Talk to any head IT of any company that greatly depends internet connectivity, such as small ISPs and web hosting companies, and they will tell you (if they are at liberty to) what the CIR of their service is. IF you don't see any CIR in your contract (even if it says 5mbps, 15mpbs, heck 1Gbps), then you are only being sold BURST bandwidth (EIR/PIR). It is understandable that many don't understand the concept of CIR since: a) ISPs never introduced the concept to consumers and b) most have never worked as an IT in a company that greatly depends on internet connectivity.

Let's put it in another way: no CIR in your contract == you have no right to demand why you can't use the whole 15mbps you bought == ISPs can oversell their service.

Now, does anyone else still wants to live in their own fantasy world?

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Anonymous Coward

Re:@To those who are obviously blind followers of these ISPs

Ps.

As for where I stand, force these ISPs to acknowledge that what they are selling to consumers are EIR/PIR/Burst Bandwidth. Have them stamp that fact on every ad and every page of the contract.

After that, force them to sell a package w/ CIR. It'll be relatively pricier but it'll definitely sell (yes, government oversight required as these ISPs will screw consumers anyway/anytime they can.

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Brake (BREAK) the Throttlers

In America, We the Consumers Rarely get 1/3 to 1/2 of Advertised Speed as a matter of course, so when they throttle you your speed goes in the rubbish bin.

I recently dumped Clearwire "Broadband" 'cause the agreed on price of 1.5 M, turned out to really be about 250K on a good day, and on my last day of service it was a staggering 14.4 K. At that point I fired off a letter to the Attourney General, and was ALLOWED to cancel my 2 year contract 6 months early>without paying the Early Termination Agreement Fee. I tried Verizon Wireless at twice the cost, and within 2 &1/2 weeks they called me to inform me that I was about to go over the 5Gig limit. Funny thing was I only used it to read my e-mail. I was sure they were mistaken,

BUT had several interesting things occur> ONE BEING >AS i TRIED TO CONNECT TO The Reg (a daily read) I was informed that MY internet address had been reported as a BADSITE and was being denied access! I immediately ran Anti-Virus, and Anti-Spyware to make sure I had not been compromised, and thank goodness, my machine was clean! Obviously Verizon had given me an address previously used by a spammer. No Throttling, but still a bad experience! That did it for them! Currently, I'm with Time Warner, not 'cause I like them, but so far they are'nt Throttling and have no limits, so it is back to business. And Time Warner seems to have a better idea of service as I'm getting over 7Mbs, and they spend their time trying to keep their network free of Viruses, and other horrors, instead of reading my mail, and choking the hose!

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Paris Hilton

Now if the FCC can see, can the CRTC see?

I have a similar take to the situation, here in the great white north.

The CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television Commission) has regulated the wholesale of bandwitdh used from thrid party ISPs upon Bell Canada's monopole of DSL infrastructures.

http://drjp81.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!7F4BCF927162B044!458.entry

The rates and terms of service for this "product" that Bell must supply, are regulated and sanctionned by law. Yet, they too jumped on the "I'm going to pull on the blanket" and see how far I can go.

Here's the letest comments on the CRTC's website

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/PartVII/eng/2008/8622/c51_200805153.htm

See how they completely manage to sidestep the tariff issue

Paris cause the CRTC and her have the same clues about this.

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Pirate

Horse's .. er ..Mouth

Here's what Comcast are saying about their management practices in re: this issue:

http://www.comcast.com/Customers/FAQ/FaqCategory.ashx?CatId=209

a) This isn't about the Net Neutrality debate, which hinges on different cost structures for different types of traffic, i.e. $5 for static page requests and $20 for streaming video. This is about management transparency and truth in advertising.

b) Comcast didn't "block" anything ... they "throttled" it. There is a difference. The packets ended up getting to their destination, just not at the speeds the users would have liked, and BitTorrent is crap at renegotiating transfers, so it suffers lots of dropped packets. That's a problem with the way BitTorrent works when facing delays in packet delivery. Web browsers, FTP programs and other "normal" tools are much more forgiving of packet delays and are not affected in the same way. There is nothing against the law, here, Metz, contrary to your statements to that effect.

c) If I'm "promised" 3Mbps and I try to use 3.5Mbps, then the ISP has the right and obligation to "throttle" me back to 3Mbps. I would caution users who think they were "promised" anything to take another look at the service contracts they signed, and for them to remember that even though their average speeds are less than the maximum allowed by their contract, the contract (undoubtedly) states something like "speeds UP TO", not "speeds AVERAGING". And since BitTorrent gobbles up ALL available bandwidth when invoked, it is (undoubtedly) grabbing more than the UP TO limit.

d) It will be quite amusing to see who signs up for the class action lawsuit, and what they claim their damages should be as a result of Comcast's "throttling". Along the lines of, "I wasted many minutes waiting for that 14GB torrent to download as it took longer than I expected it to, and Comcast owes me for that wasted time because I couldn't think of anything else to do while waiting."

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Stop

Light & Heavy Users - Stop Whining - Start Doing

To all those morons out there crying about bandwidth hogs, we hogs pay good money to hog, in fact in the UK, especially villages, people are probably paying 2 to 3 times as much as a "capped" package, but still getting the same speeds.

So I'm a big fat hog, because right now, I'm downloading 15GB of Age of Conan, it's the 30 day trial my mate has signed me up for, after 7 days, I have to purchase a retail CD to continue the trial.

At it's present velocity, given BT's tardyness, it's downloading at 30KB/s, so I should have it by the time I need to buy the CD. 30KB/s for the uninitiated, is damn close, if not the same as dual-ISDN speeds?

So I'm paying max price, for an unlimited 8MB/s connection, for this download, I'm getting a 128KB/s unlimited connection.

My average connection varies from 512KB/s - 2MB/s at peak times, I sometimes see 6MB/s in the early hours of the morning while you e-mail readers are sleeping.

I can't watch anything on iPlayer during peak times, it just doesn't stream fast enough.

The problem with hogs, and you whiners, is we all spend too much time bitching at each other about how I prefer to download a game, and you prefer to download your e-mails. We don't bitch at the people who are screwing us all out of money, the ISPs.

Bottom line: I don't give 2 craps whether your a light/heavy user, whether you use your connection for porn, pirate music, legal downloads, or even business, you should get what you pay for: the ability to download this sodding game before the trial period expires, instead of being throttled back to the stone age.

/rant

As I have said before, we all need to group together, run a speedtest once a day, or more times if preferred, then pay the % for your package for the % of the speed you should get.

Individually we're screwed, together, the ISPs would have to listen. If people would be interested in this, say so... with some strong organization, it could be done.

Personally I think it's about time the ISPs got slapped down to where they belong.

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Stop

From Colorado Springs...

Well, that explains the MASSIVE slowdown in traffic. I'd say my rates have dropped down to about 25% of their previous, barely acceptable, speeds. Damnit.

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Pirate

Stupid, arrogant and greedy

the argument from ISPs like Comcast is subtle.

It used to be that they did now own or could sell the Internet as it wasa public service, all they did was facilitate access to the public Internet.

Not Comcast and AT&T want the plebs to know it's their Internet now.

This is where the trouble starts.

Yes they may have made and paid for expansion but it was for their own benefit.

What Comcast should have done was make a new class of unlimited user and have them pay more to run torrents until they are blue. If the demand was their it would be viable. Comcast did not want to do this because it would have made their unlimited service appear much more limited than the competition.

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Net Neutrality Is Becoming A Farce!!

I think we've been too hard on the telcos all due to the net neutrality fanatics! Net neutrality itself is has now been hijack by the likes of Google who are bent on promoting their vause at the expence of the telcos. If you think net neutrality is for the ordinary users, then we are sorely mistaken:'http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=556&doc_id=160628&F_src=flftwo'

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