In recent months Comcast has been accused of blocking BitTorrent traffic on more than one occasion and the company has even gone so far as to cut customers off who use an 'excessive' amount of their 'unlimited' bandwidth.
On one side of the recently drawn battle lines are the customers who are claiming that Comcast needs to spend more money on infastructure instead of taking such restrictive measures. On the other side is, of course, Comcast who maintains that their TOS gives them discretion to cut off users whenever they feel like it. Users have taken their war to local news agencies and forums while Comcast has issued statements through their PR department.
“The original response, says Brad Stone of The New York Times, seems to have caught Comcast’s PR department off-guard. The new response reads, “Comcast does not block access to any Web sites or online applications, including peer-to-peer services like BitTorrent … we have a responsibility to provide all of our customers with a good Internet experience and we use the latest technologies to manage our network so that they can continue to enjoy these applications.”
The reality, however, is more complicated says Stone. Speaking on anonymity, a Comcast internet executive told The New York Times that Comcast was indeed manipulating traffic, through data management technologies designed to conserve bandwidth. As part of that process, the company will attempt to delay P2P traffic to preserve other users’ quality of service. He described the process as being akin to the busy signal in a phone call: users are perfectly able to hang up and try again later.”