Comcast Throttling Woes Continue

When Comcast began throttling BitTorrent traffic last year, they initially claimed it was an anti-piracy measure, but it's starting to look as if there might have been an ulterior motive for the throttling; keeping legitimate online video services away from their customer base.

“While the BitTorrent protocol has long been used for piratical purposes, the company formed to commercialize it has signed up a slew of business partners from the entertainment industry that use it to reduce their bandwidth costs while distributing video. Those partners include Warner Bros., Viacom, PBS, and Paramount Pictures.

What that means is that Comcast is slamming the brakes on perfectly legal television watching that happens to take place over the Internet--leaving it open to allegations of anticompetitive activity. As more TV watching shifts online, the argument goes, Comcast will lose its enviably lucrative position as the content gatekeeper for cable TV and become one of many providers of a commodity broadband service with slimmer margins.”

Several consumers and consumer advocacy groups have filed suit against Comcast and some have even registered complaints with the FCC.  If large studios add to Comcast's legal woes, they may find themselves defending against both suppliers/customers and clients at the same time.