Items tagged with Comcast

You didn't seriously think Comcast would roll over without a fight, did you? It was only a matter of time after FCC's decision in early August, before Comcast took some legal action. And here we are. Last month, the FCC voted 3-2 to declare that Comcast's throttling of BitTorrent P2P traffic last year was illegal. At that time the FCC ordered Comcast to not just stop blocking P2P traffic, but also to provide more details of its network management policies within 30 days. According to the Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required), Comcast on Thursday filed suit to overturn the ruling. At the same time, despite this, Comcast indicated it will continue to abide by the earlier FCC order, including... Read more...
On Thursday Comcast announced a 250 GB cap for their broadband service.  We applauded the fact that they finally gave some transparency to their "hidden" cap, which had always snagged a few users, without telling them exactly how much their use should be, but then we realized: where's the meter? Time-Warner Cable is currently trying out metered service in Beaumont, TX. Their caps are lower, but they do provide one thing: a page you can go to in order to check your usage. And what's interesting is the response you get if you ask Comcast about any plans for a meter: Charlie Douglas, who is Director of Corporate Communications for Comcast's Online & Voice Services, and who wrote us back... Read more...
How many of you are aware of the 5 GB cap that Frontier DSL has imposed?  Or of the trials in Beaumont, TX that Time-Warner Cable is running?  It's only a matter of time before others impose caps.  And here we are, with a big ISP imposing a cap.  But really, let's be honest: this ISP already had one, just one that was hidden.Today Comcast detailed its new "network management" policies.  Basically, they set a 250 GB cap on users, effective October first.  It should be noted that for years people have complained about a "hidden" cap that Comcast had, whereupon it would terminate a user's account without giving him or her exact numbers.  Now we have an exact number. ... Read more...
It certainly wouldn't be a deal-breaker (or maker) to us, but if you still can't get a Nintendo Wii (and annoyingly, it's still in short supply), and you're interested in signing your life away for two years to Comcast, this could be the deal for you.On Monday, hot on the heels of the announcement that Comcast will soon receive a slap on the wrist --- and hopefully, an order to stop throttling P2P --- Comcast announced that new subscribers to their Comcast Triple Play package will receive a complimentary Nintendo Wii system.Triple Play is what it sounds: three services: high-speed Internet, digital cable, and digital voice.  Currently in my area this upgrade would run us $69 / month. ... Read more...
This week marks the beginning of Comcast's month-long experiment with protocol-agnostic network management practices in Chambersburg, PA and Warrenton, VA. Comcast has come under fire recently for throttling certain types of traffic on its network, such as with data for P2P clients. This alternative approach focuses purely on how much bandwidth is being consumed, and not the type of data being transmitted. "This new technique does not look at particular protocols or applications. Instead, it will focus on the bandwidth consumption activity of individual customers who are contributing to congestion on Comcast's network. The technique measures only aggregate bandwidth consumption, not the protocol... Read more...
Move over Microsoft; Comcast is taking over the role as being perceived as the next "evil empire." Just ask hackers, Defiant and EBK, who managed to take over Comcast's Web portal for over five hours Wednesday night and into Thursday morning: Thursday, the pair were dealing with their newfound fame, laughing over the press coverage with a mix of glee and nervous excitement. Some reports have speculated that the hackers were retaliating for Comcast's recent sabotage of BitTorrent traffic; Defiant and EBK say that's false: they just hate Comcast in general. "I'm sure they hate us too," says Defiant."Comcast is just a huge corporation, and we wanted to take them out, and we did," he says.The pair... Read more...
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... Read more...
Reuters reports that the second-largest U.S. ISP, Comcast, has agreed to acquire online address book and social networking site Plaxo for somewhere between $145 million and $175 million. "Comcast will use Plaxo to offer social network links across Comcast-connected devices from TVs to digital video recorders to, eventually, wireless devices, thanks to a new partnership with Sprint, Clearwire and Google." Plaxo currently has approximately 20 million members, and estimates that it can net up to another 30 million members from Comcast's roughly 24 million television and 14 million broadband Internet subscribers. Comcast had already been working with Plaxo on its SmartZone communications center service,... Read more...
Comcast has taken a lot of heat for limiting their customer's P2P traffic based on vague references to traffic overload concerns. They confused and angered many of their customers by offering "unlimited" bandwith that was limited, and added a bit of insult to injury by never revealing what the ceiling on traffic actually was. Broadband Reports interviewed someone inside Comcast who says the company is poised to make explicit the limits on downloading -- and charging for exceeding that limit. Looks like P2P Comcast users are going on a 250 GB a month diet."The intent appears to be to go after the people who consistently download far more than the typical user without hurting those who may have... Read more...
As the debate for net neutrality still rages, the FCC continues its hearings into Comcast’s throttling of P2P traffic: "FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, testifying before a Senate committee, said Comcast's blocking of BitTorrent P-to-P (peer-to-peer) traffic appeared to happen when there wasn't network congestion, in contrast to claims from the broadband provider" If Comcast is in fact taking a more draconian stance on P2P traffic than they would like folks to believe, this could be the definitive move that finally pushes Congress to enact net neutrality legislation. The irony is that P2P traffic is not the largest bandwidth hog anymore on the Internet. That claim now goes to video streaming and downloading... Read more...
After reversing their stance on BitTorrent, Comcast has announced plans to offer their 50Mb/sec broadband in all existing markets by 2010. What would people use the extra bandwidth for? Digital distribution of movies and music seems a likely candidate and BitTorrent seems like it is going to be a key player in that arena.  So how fast is a 50Mb/sec connection in terms of downloading movies?  Fast enough:“With the faster service, a customer could download a 4 gigabyte high-definition movie in about 10 minutes, compared with about an hour at previous speeds.”?With this kind of bandwidth on tap, we can’t help but wonder if Comcast will start increasing the unofficial usage limits they currently... Read more...
Ah yes, the good news is they are collaborating. The bad news is ... wait for it ... The deal comes as BitTorrent, which became known for developing software technology widely used to illegally share files, is trying to reinvent itself. The companies are in talks to collaborate on ways to run BitTorrent's technology more smoothly on Comcast's broadband network, and allow Comcast to transport video files more effectively over its own network in the future, said Tony Warner, Comcast's chief technology officer. Comcast and BitTorrent have been at odds since the cable operator said it was delaying traffic from BitTorrent at peak times. Legislators and some advocacy groups argued that Comcast's efforts... Read more...
You've probably heard that Comcast is throttling P2P downloads, and that the FCC was interested enough to hold a hearing yesterday.  At that hearing, 2 Internet pioneers gave Comcast a piece of their minds.David Reed, an MIT professor who's considered to be an Internet engineering pioneer, said Comcast's behavior makes him especially "uncomfortable" because it involves both deep packet inspection, which poses privacy concerns, and injection of forged reset packets, a disruptive tactic that makes a message appear to be coming from someone it's not.One problem is an absence of quantifiable ways of figuring out whether peer-to-peer use is causing consumers to exceed their seemingly unspoken... Read more...
Comcast has drawn a lot of attention to itself since it decided to throttle BitTorrent traffic, and most of it negative.  Customers complained to anyone who would listen, and one of those was the FCC and another may just be House Internet Subcommittee Chair, (D) Rep. Ed Markey:“This time, the Federal Communications Commission will depart its headquarters just off the National Mall in Washington and head north to a courtroom on Harvard Law School's campus in Cambridge, Mass. (The FCC wouldn't comment on why the site was selected, but Boston is the home turf of Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, who chairs a House Internet subcommittee.)The hearing, which will be open to the public on a first-come,... Read more...
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