North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Comcast blocking p2p uploads

  • From: Eric Spaeth
  • Date: Fri Oct 19 17:41:51 2007

Steven M. Bellovin wrote:
Not a lot more I can say, other than argghhh!
You have a residential bandwidth offering with a price point that is possible because of massive oversubscription that is in violent competition with a technology that aims to make use of all that "idle" network capacity at each subscriber end-point. This is one of those issues where people like to play both sides; you have massive outbursts of moral outage that an ISP would engage in throttling activities, and an equal outburst when things like usage-based billing get discussed. No matter how you slice it, there are costs involved in moving bits and as a provider you either need to level the playing field by throttling people to reasonable consumption or be able to differentially bill those who insist on generating massive traffic loads. Of course, the challenge is that due to current limitations in access technologies (both cable and DSL) many broadband ISPs couldn't accommodate some of these traffic loads even if people are willing to pay.

It's worth noting that the traffic Comcast is filtering is called out in their Terms of Use in the "PROHIBITED USES AND ACTIVITIES" section, paragraph xiv.