Comcast customers are still waiting for the nation’s largest broadband provider to make good on their promise to stop throttling BitTorrent traffic according to a recent survey:
The Max Planck Institute tested the connections of 788 Comcast customers, 494 (62%) experienced a slowdown of BitTorrent traffic. Comcast is not alone though, well over 50% of the Cox subscribers that participated in the study were also throttled. The good news is, other ISPs don’t seem to restrict BitTorrent traffic on a wide scale.
Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, said in a response: “Consumers have no reason left to trust their cable company. This independent study confirms that Comcast is still blocking its customers from using popular applications — despite the FCC’s investigation and widespread public outrage. And worse, the harmful practice appears to be spreading through the marketplace.”
You might be asking yourself what the big deal is all about here, especially if you equate BitTorrent with piracy. The big deal is that several companies are either already using BitTorrent or are considering using it as a method of digital distribution of legitimate media. In short it can be said that cable operators blocking BitTorrent may be intentionally (or otherwise) shutting out potential rivals to their core business.
As we’ve seen numerous times in the hardware industry alone, a little competition is good for the consumer.