AfterDawn: Tech news

FCC complaint filed against Comcast regarding "network management"

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 03 Nov 2007 19:44 User comments (11)

FCC complaint filed against Comcast regarding "network management" According to a complaint filed with the Federal Communication Commission by members of the coalition, a group of Net Neutrality proponents, as well as academics from Harvard, Yale, and Stanford law schools, Comcast is violating the FCC's Internet Policy Statement. That statement says, among other things that "consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of
their choice."
The complaint stems from recent controversy over Comcast's handling of certain traffic, which includes delaying traffic from some applications long enough to stop those programs from working properly. So far Comcast's response to criticism about the problem has been to characterize it as "network management," and repeatedly point out that they're not Blocking any application," apparently responding to an allegation that no one has made against them.

But the groups filing the petition say, "No plausible technical or economic reason suggests that blocking particular applications is a reasonable way to manage a network." They're asking the FCC to clarify the Internet Policy statement to explicitly say "intentionally degrading an application or class of applications is not 'reasonable network management' under the FCC policy statement."

"Last year, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and opponents of Net neutrality told Congress that the FCC has all the authority it needs to prevent exactly this sort of customer abuse by a major provider," Harold Feld, senior vice president of Media Access Project said in a statement. "Now we come to the acid test. Will the FCC, which vowed to protect our freedom to run the applications of our choice, stand up for citizens in the face of Comcast?"

Given a General Accounting Office report earlier this year criticizing the FCC for an anti-consumer bias, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Source: Cnet News

Previous Next  

11 user comments

14.11.2007 1:04


i still dont trust comcast as far as i can throw them`

24.11.2007 1:51

It will be nice to see how this plays out. Comcast is a shiesty company. What the really need is some Cable competition. Then some of their strong hold they have on that market will loosing up.

34.11.2007 2:27

Interesting. Maybe this will set a precedent.

44.11.2007 9:33

time to switch to dsl

54.11.2007 16:29

hehe. yeah you well get what you deserve. you crippled my DynDNS mailhop service and nearly got me fired because of it burn Comcast.

64.11.2007 19:26

A few months ago, I found that I had to have a bit torrent variation in order to download the DVD version of Knoppix. No other method of download succeeded. I do remember that using a Bit Torrent program was extremely slow. Kind of reminded me of downloading "Open Office", or some other free & legal software, using "dial up".

I can understand them not wanting to get embroiled in any RIAA & MPAA pirating cases because they allowed illegal file sharing. That is just a prudent way of doing business.

I would rather they allow legal use of Bit Torrent programs, instead of "carte blanc", slowing them down to a crawl.


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Nov 2007 @ 19:28

74.11.2007 21:34

"Now we come to the acid test. Will the FCC, which vowed to protect our freedom to run the applications of our choice, stand up for citizens in the face of Comcast?"

I hope FCC will heed this. Comcast is a colossal ISP in the Northwest. With its millions of subscribers, it's only right that they should be chastised for deceiving the customers.

84.11.2007 21:53

well, i hate to say it but i found a HUUUGE fault in this lawsuit. Actually two faults. I read their website statement & not the brief here at AD.
#1)Bittorent traffic does not effect bandwith
BAULDERDASH!! When i use BT, i dL a minimum of several hundred MB to 1GB+ per day. I once measured my dL over a week (just a week ago) and I had dL 18GB in about 8 days. LOL
BT, well the whole reason for it is to encourage the dL of large files while using peers to increase speeds. So actually, STI, you guys are just farking nuts. BT does = high bandwith.
#2)The FCC should be called on to regulate what a private company deams a legal/illegal practice on its network
This is a can of worms, I'm surprised Mr. Feld refers to this as an Acid test. If Comcast were randomly blocking users, it would be one thing. But its clear that Comcast is throttling bandwith tied to the use of BT. In any regard, Comcast is watching users & throttling those who appear to make any long-term/sustained dL on their network. They are legally allowed this under the law. As a business, they are simply protecting their user base against leeching by a few users.

What bothers me is CC isn't going after P2P users or ftp or spammers. They have lots of those on their network. No, they are purposely targeting the BT protocol & programs that use it. Even though Azureus & uTorrent allow you to mask the protocol, any network sniffer program can see through this. Comcast, without a doubt, has developed a program that allows them to sniff the network traffic of a large base of users (maybe, ALL users) to see if they're running BT. If they are, those users have their bandwith throttled. I've tested this myself, by doing some BT @ a friends house & then coming back an hour later & dL from a regular website. While we were gone, we tried the same torrent @my house (Time Warner area) & the bandwith was faster. The bandwith difference was about 10x slower on BT w/Comcast. The dL from the web were about the same on Comcast & Time Warner.

In the end, Comcast will continue to (very falsely) deny the throttling, but then say they have the lawful right to do so. More denials. Unless we can find someone on the inside who can point to a 100% fact this is their corporate policy, there's not much to do. You can cancel Comcast & go with another provider (DSL? Satellite?), but with the monopoly that Comcast has it won't put much of a dent in their bottom line.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Nov 2007 @ 22:01

95.11.2007 11:44

Originally posted by ali2007:
time to switch to dsl
fios is coming

1018.11.2007 16:23

I am glad these guys are not in OZ as far as i know that is :)

1110.1.2008 13:15

Originally posted by xhardc0re:
... they are simply protecting their user base against leeching by a few users.
They're not leeching. They're using the bandwidth they've paid for and that Comcast is contractually obligated to deliver.

-- Smoovious

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive