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Comcast denies filtering Bittorrent traffic

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 22 Aug 2007 8:22 User comments (25)

Comcast denies filtering Bittorrent traffic Comcast is vehemently denying claims that they're filtering BitTorrent traffic on their network.
Broadband providers aren't exactly fans of BitTorrent because use of the protocol can create an excessive amount of traffic on their networks. Last week On TorrentFreak, a blog claimed that Comcast is cutting off BitTorrent transfers and even decreasing download speeds.

Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas denied that the company was filtering or "shaping" any traffic on its network. He said the company doesn't actively look at the applications or content that its customers download over the network. But Comcast does reserve the right to cut off service to customers who abuse the network by using too much bandwidth.

"More than 99.99 percent of our customers use the residential high-speed Internet service as intended, which includes downloading and sharing video, photos and other rich media," he said. "But Comcast has a responsibility to provide these customers with a superior experience, and to address any excessive or abusive activities usage issues that may adversely impact that experience."

In the rare instances the company has to enforce its policy, Douglas said that Comcast contacts subscribers to work out the issue. But he firmly reiterated that the company doesn't Filter or throttle back traffic.

Given the proliferation of television, and in some cases even near DVD quality content, being delivered over the internet there are legitimate questions about how capable internet providers are of consistently delivering the bandwidth they use as a selling point for their service.

Whether the bandwidth required for Streaming and downloaded video is available is certainly one of those questions, but another is whose responsibility it is to pay for it.

As online content and IPTV services attempt to compete with traditional cable and satellite providers, some of whom will be providing the bandwidth to make it possible, expect both questions to be hotly debated.

Source: CNet News

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25 user comments

122.8.2007 9:21

personally I still believe the bastards are shaping network traffic.

222.8.2007 10:19

i hate how we pay for 5gbps, and we get around 4.6. not only that, we cant use it all the time. wtf. i pay for it. i think its because they know they dont have the bandwidth to support 5gbps or even 3gbps to everyone. but they sell it anyways.

322.8.2007 10:31

Quote:
customers who abuse the network by using too much bandwidth
how is that possible?... I never knew that I could use more bandwidth than I pay for... or are they saying I canīt use as much as I pay?...

thanks god I am not one of their customers...

422.8.2007 11:00

Quote:
Quote:
customers who abuse the network by using too much bandwidth
how is that possible?... I never knew that I could use more bandwidth than I pay for... or are they saying I canīt use as much as I pay?...

thanks god I am not one of their customers...

Yea, I want a refund! If you add up the total hours available (24*7*356) and how much total I should be able to pull through my connection verses what I actually get. At the end of the month/year just cut me a check for it and we will call it square.

522.8.2007 12:28

Well, I haven't had a problem as of late with torrents at all. Comcast isn't the best but at least they are not filtering, or shaping from what I can tell, my internet.

On the speed issue, from what I know the only reason you would get less then advertised would be from a heavily saturated area. If too many people are online for the size of the node then its going to slow down your internet.

Also, if its 5Mbps you pay for that works out to about ~700/KBs. They use a little "b" in there speeds so when you see it on your computer a full speed download would be about an eighth of what there number is due to bit/byte conversion.

622.8.2007 12:38

Well speaking as a former customer of comcast they do filter. I paid for 8 megs and if your calculating from speed consistently then you never get what you pay for plus what makes matters worst is they are charging you more every 6 months for a circuit that doesnt provide what they are selling. On a download off a torrent I would get as high as 1.5 meg on a good day a but a topical day like 800+ maybe. But the speeds were the same when I had the 6meg service. During my time with them I used to get kicked off the net a lot. Or would not get close to what I was paying so I moved up to the 8meg which was a slight increase but not enough to keep me as a customer. Plus your uploads never equal what your downloads are. No sense in only getting 768k - 1.5megs up if your download is 4x's more. Thats why i use my jobs internet service 10megs up and down unfiltered like them or other providers.

722.8.2007 13:01
LouRawls
Inactive

He is parsing his words very carefully. He is denying one thing and is being accused of another. Technically not lying but still deceptive.

Comcast,and others are using Sandvine.

Insight broadband had a big thing about this a few months ago. Basically they said not they weren't but they were. You are monitored. Uploading more than their threshold limit, puts you on a watch list. They don't seem to care about download...its the upload that the issue.

They are saving themselves for VOIP. While internet browsers and even downloads are pretty tolerate of dropped packets, telephone is not.

822.8.2007 14:25

Get a load of this. My buddy has Comcast and one day he was deciding the service for his Voip. He didnt want to go with Comcast and went with vonage. After he went with Vonage, Comcast started to block the ports of his vonage almost making it unuseable.

He called them and told them he used to work for At&t and he knew what they were doing. They quickly denied the claims and his vonage mysteriously started working at full potential.

922.8.2007 14:29

I pay for unlimited use. They need to deliver unlimited use.

1022.8.2007 14:32

I looked at my bill, and it says 12Mbps unlimited use. I know that I don't get anywhere near 12Mbps on anything that I do online from torrents to general surfing.

1122.8.2007 15:09

yeah, i think so. my up speed is bad.

1222.8.2007 16:22
llongtheD
Inactive

Be thankful you don't have charter. Everytime I would use my Newsreader "newsrover", my bandwidth would be cut to 128kbps. I have 3Mbps unlimited. I called them about this and was actually told it might be a problem with the software. Once I ditched charter, and went to another isp, low and behold, problem solved. I know for a fact some companies do this. If my bandwidth wouldn't have always dropped down to 128kbps, whenever a large file was downloaded, it wouldn't have been so obvious.

1322.8.2007 17:02
cousinkix
Inactive

I don't use cable TV providers for internet access at all. Been hearing about this COMCAST story for a long time. There have even been reports of them harassing customers too.

The CEO of our cable systems's previous owner openly discussed the idea of "monitoring" their customer's activities and ratting them out. Comcast rehired most of those old employees; when they bought into this local network. I am not silly enough to believe that they will never do such a thing in the future.

I get most of what I paid for with DSL instead and it costs me less money each month too...

1422.8.2007 17:11

They are always going to deny it... (think Netflix) and they don't care if you quit them and go elsewhere. They are not able to rape you by overcharging you so they would just as soon have you on a competitors system.

When I went through this with Netflix it was very apparant that they could care less whether I was happy or not. In their mind they were unable to make money with me as a customer so they were happy when I told them to shove-it.

1522.8.2007 19:49

@The Pastor

That is the problem with these companies these days. They don't care if you go elsewhere. They have grown larger than they need to and figure that they are still making money with or without you.

The only company that doesn't want to let you go is AOL. Anybody tried to cancel them? That is damn near impossible.

1623.8.2007 3:27

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you more so limited by the server or location you're downloading the file from, and their upload speed/bandwidth available? I have 7Mb download and fastest I've ever downloaded a file over mIRC is around 850KB which is the correct download speed.

Perhaps it is because of filtering of certain torrent programs because i have never had any issues getting max speeds using mIRC. Guess its still good be in the oldschool of some things.

1723.8.2007 5:08
cousinkix
Inactive

Quote:
The only company that doesn't want to let you go is AOL. Anybody tried to cancel them? That is damn near impossible.
You wouldn't believe the shi+ that I dealt with just trying to close my mother's account after she died.

1823.8.2007 17:35

I remember a few years ago I use AOL dialup then canceled a month later . These fools faught me on closing my account it went from one rep to the next to the manager to the director to whom ever they could find lol. Then they had the never after that to send me their DSL modem in the mail when i didnt ask for it and charge me $200 for the modem. I was like damn i didnt even order this they was well oh looks like somebody rolled your old account into new service with DSL. So i know exactly what you mean about AOL they will try their hardest to keep into something they got. I had comcast for 8 years and i canceled 4 months ago there was no spydah do quit check this deal out to keep me it was ok turn your modem in and cable boxes and pay the balance left lmao.

1924.8.2007 3:38
theridges
Inactive

Originally posted by Unfocused:
I looked at my bill, and it says 12Mbps unlimited use. I know that I don't get anywhere near 12Mbps on anything that I do online from torrents to general surfing.
Originally posted by zarlaan:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you more so limited by the server or location you're downloading the file from, and their upload speed/bandwidth available? I have 7Mb download and fastest I've ever downloaded a file over mIRC is around 850KB which is the correct download speed.

Perhaps it is because of filtering of certain torrent programs because i have never had any issues getting max speeds using mIRC. Guess its still good be in the oldschool of some things.
for those who dont know...
you have to divide that number by 8
so 12Mbps
12,000,000/8=1,500,000 KB's so your actual download speed is 1.5MB
7,000,000/8=875,000 KB's
so you are getting what you pay for...

i have earthlink and im happy with my provider damn comcast is lame..
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Aug 2007 @ 3:40

2024.8.2007 8:45

Originally posted by Unfocused:
@The Pastor

That is the problem with these companies these days. They don't care if you go elsewhere. They have grown larger than they need to and figure that they are still making money with or without you.

The only company that doesn't want to let you go is AOL. Anybody tried to cancel them? That is damn near impossible.
This is a valid business response. If you have 1 percent of your customer causing problems for you and taking away your attention, of course you can fire them.

I have a small business, and occasionally you get that one client who is more trouble then he is worth. It's better for me in the long run if I don't waste time on him anymore.

You guys should focus on what they are measuring and try to fit that, and while you are at it try to add up how many $20 music CD's and $50 games you download each month for that $45 comcast bill.

2124.8.2007 12:21
frankacne
Inactive

Its a pity that the ISPs are not even able to provide the download speeds that they boast of in their adverts and Comcast are by no means alone. If people were getting the speeds they are paying for then perhaps they would not need to resort to using Torrents, which in themselves are extrememly useful and should not be blamed. Here in the UK AOL have promised me up to 8 Meg for the last year but i still only receive 1.98 meg. My friend in the South is paying for 8 meg from BT but gets on ly 3.5 meg. The ISPs should either privide the speeds they advertise, advertise the actual speeds, or give us a refund. Only then would they receive more support for dealing with what might be excessive bandwidth usage by a small minority of people.

2224.8.2007 20:26

Sure they don't...

The best part of all of this is that no one will prove it. And if they do in fact prove it, they will continue denying it. So WHO CARES what they say.

2327.8.2007 18:46

Quote:
This is a valid business response. If you have 1 percent of your customer causing problems for you and taking away your attention, of course you can fire them.

The problem is that the 1 percent in this case are the ones who actually know what is happening and the rest of the unwashed masses are clueless.
So, when someone who knows what is happening actually calls them on it they simply let them go. They might even throttle you even MORE just to make you leave them.

It CAN backfire, though. If the one percent are real good about informing the rest of the folks they can generate enough negative comments that they may be FORCED to deal with the situation.
Netflix did eventually deal with their throttling complaints, but only after a few, very vocal customers starting letting everyone else know what was going on.

2431.8.2007 3:19

This whole thing just makes me glad im in Australia and i dont have to deal with this yet. The other thing is why would you still use Bittorrent.

2531.8.2007 3:46

Because it is one of the fastest and easiest ways to "acquire" media. And with a little foresight can be quite safe.

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