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Bittorrent To Cause Internet Meltdown

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the packet-schmacket dept.

The Internet 872

Gimble writes "Richard Bennett has an article at the Register claiming that a recent uTorrent decision to use UDP for file transfers to avoid ISP 'traffic management' restrictions will cause a meltdown of the internet reducing everybody's bandwidth to a quarter of their current value. Other folks have also expressed concern that this may not be the best thing for the internet."

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98% (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25944393)

Plz seed

Re:98% (4, Funny)

Kjuib (584451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944701)

If it melts... it should flow better and faster right? A liquid net would better than a solid one.

Re:98% (4, Funny)

ardor (673957) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945233)

Nah, it would melt the internet tubes.

Hello! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25944409)

Hello!

Well Duh (-1, Troll)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944419)

You can't blame your wife for stabbing you in the face when you keep locking her in the bedroom. When you threaten someone, their choice of retaliation may not be the smartest way to go about it, but then again, WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?

A little extreme there, don't you think? (-1, Troll)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944579)

Informative? Try more like "troll" or "flamebait."

Using your stupid analogy, this would be more like threatening to raze the entire city to the ground because no one intervened to stopped the wife from being locked in the bedroom.

You know what I'd like to see happen? Anyone who is caught using uTorrent with this setting gets their broadband internet access contract torn up. Don't even pretend that most bit torrent traffic is legitimate and legal. For every Linux DVD image distributed by bittorrent, there is probably dozens of times that much data in blatantly bootlegged content being distributed.

Re:A little extreme there, don't you think? (5, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944629)

The problem is, that it could be ligitimate. Are you the judge and jury? Don't let something set a precedent that could affect our legal freedoms as well.

Re:A little extreme there, don't you think? (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944795)

It could be, or it could not be. To me, that's not even an issue that should involve the ISP. I pay them for bandwidth, not to be my nanny. It's akin to a car dealer that keeps checking into to make sure I'm not running drugs in the car I bought from them. Right or wrong, legal or illegal, I paid for the car/bandwidth, so butt the hell out or I'm going to either find another seller who doesn't bother me about what I'm doing, or just ignore your and route around your interference.

I want an ISP that sells me a pipe. That's it. What I send down it is of no concern, and if I pay for 5Mbps or whatever other arbitrary number, then I can't possibly "steal" bandwidth from other users because by definition I'm already limited to the amount that you sold me. If you can't provide it then don't sell it, because some users will use what you sell them. If you took the current ISP business model to any other industry you'd be laughed out of town, yet they get away with it. Can you imagine signing up for a "3 DVD's at a time" plan from Netflix and then when you actually check out 3 at a time they start bitching up a storm because "You're hoarding the DVD's!!! None of the other customers will be able to rent any of them!!!". Of course not. Because like most industry's they understand that if you sell a capacity you better damn well be able to meet it.

Re:A little extreme there, don't you think? (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944987)

I hate to be the one invoking a Hitler reference--albeit tenuous--but the old parable about "They took the unionists, I was not a unionist, so I didn't protest. They took the _____, I was not a ____, so I didn't protest, ......" seems to fit.

Personally, I think this is a tough nut to crack. But if transferring files via a well established and well known protocol is going "meltdown" the internet, maybe the internet isn't as resilient as it should be?

I personally can't remember the last time I downloaded via torrent. I sucked tons of shit off P2P networks, napster, gnutella, fasttrack, even some BT, but I just graduated to an income bracket where I'm more time poor than cash poor.

But if we don't demand fair practices from ISPs it won't be long until they cross off BT and then move to the next biggest 80/20 rule traffic hog. And THAT might be something i DO care about.

Re:A little extreme there, don't you think? (3, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944767)

Using your stupid analogy, this would be more like threatening to raze the entire city to the ground because no one intervened to stopped the wife from being locked in the bedroom.

So she should sacrifice her entire life for people who clearly don't care? Why not let them all burn? Are you sure you wouldn't do the same if you were in her position? What if it was worse then being locked in the bedroom?

Ok, moving on from a rather stretched analogy...

Anyone who is caught using uTorrent with this setting gets their broadband internet access contract torn up.

Interesting anecdote. A few years ago, my NTL contract specifically mentioned how traffic over TCP/IP had to be legal, etc. For some reason UDP, ICMP, etc was not mentioned. Odd. I'm no longer with them, and they no longer exist anymore, so I can't check to see if its changed.

Don't even pretend that most bit torrent traffic is legitimate and legal. For every Linux DVD image distributed by bittorrent, there is probably dozens of times that much data in blatantly bootlegged content being distributed.

I don't care. I have *never* pirated anything over bittorrent, even thought I've used it a number of times.

Re:A little extreme there, don't you think? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25945187)

"I don't care. I have *never* pirated anything over bittorrent, even thought I've used it a number of times."

The unverifiable claims are the easiest to fabricate.

Re:A little extreme there, don't you think? (5, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945025)

Don't even pretend that most bit torrent traffic is legitimate and legal.

So what? Piracy is a social problem. Blocking BT, which IS being used legitimately, is a wrong-headed attempt to use technology to "solve" a social problem.

And in this case, they're trying to do it on the most flexible network in the world, one that's SUPPOSED to route around problem areas.

Re:A little extreme there, don't you think? (0, Flamebait)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945181)

Don't even pretend that most bit torrent traffic is legitimate and legal.

Has it not percolated into your tiny brain that we don't recognize the legitimacy of the bodies that make the laws?

Have you ever watched Charlie Brown? You know the bit where the adults are talking, but all anyone hears is "Whaa whaa, whaa whaa whaa whaa." That's you.

Personally, I think the thing to do is to raze the offices of the politicians and corporate executives, with the people inside.

Re:A little extreme there, don't you think? (2, Insightful)

Atticka (175794) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945257)

"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"

That should sum it up.

Re:Well Duh (2, Insightful)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944637)

That ISPs will start shutting BitTorrent users down, including legitimate ones, when they realize that BitTorrent users have forced them into a 95/5 choice. It isn't appropriate for legitimate bittorrent users to be driving other TCP off the network, let alone the vast bulk of what BitTorrent is really used for. You're not backed into a corner, getting stabbed in the face, or being locked in the bedroom; you just want to bully other people out of their bandwidth so you get more. It's about to explode in your face. There's no need or reason for this switch to UDP. This will, however, create a serious reason for ISPs to want rid of BitTorrent.

BitTorrent is going to find out, very soon, that it shouldn't try to be a bully; it's making other customers vote with their wallets, and if you force the point, there are actually a ton of ways to stop this cold (which unfortunately hurt the rest of us too, like caps). Unfortunately, BitTorrent fascinated mods are about to call me a troll or say I'm promoting flamebait, when I'm doing neither, because I'm telling them something they don't want to hear, but whatever.

This isn't the right way for BitTorrent to move forward, even when you only look at it as a collection of people using a protocol for legitimate purposes. You're just being greedy.

Re:Well Duh (5, Interesting)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944991)

Sounds like the ISPs should have used the tax incentives we gave them to increase network capacity and reach to, you know, increase network capacity and reach. If they had done that years ago to keep pace with the growth of their network traffic, they wouldn't be in this situation.

But no, of course, it has to be the person who uses their connection's fault.

I pay for a pipe. My ISP should take no interest in the source or destination or type of service connections in this pipe. Anything else is just allowing the system to be used abusively.

It isn't appropriate for legitimate bittorrent users to be driving other TCP off the network.

The only way the BitTorrent use can drive other users off to the network is if the ISP's network is misconfigured or is being overutilized due to too much overselling (you have to have some overselling, not everyone is on 24/7). ISPs that have their shit together will have their network designed to handle expected and future traffic growth such that all of their customers can use what they paid for.

you just want to bully other people out of their bandwidth so you get more

They paid for their bandwidth and I paid for mine. I have a cap on my connection speed; they do as well. The only difference is that their YouTube videos load instantly and my BitTorrent transfer is knee-capped. Who is the bully here?

This isn't the right way for BitTorrent to move forward

What is the right way to move forward? Accept that there are two levels of Internet traffic: "clean, good, wholesome non BitTorrent traffic" and "dirty, evil, corrupting BitTorrent traffic"?

Re:Well Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25945085)

mod parent up. I couldn't agree more.

Re:Well Duh (4, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945205)

I don't use bittorrent, but frankly those (most of those) people are paying for unlimited internet access. At least that is how it was marketed. What I do uses is streaming video for alot of the shows I had been watching on TV. If my ISP is selling me unlimited internet and they decide not to deliver, I want a rate cut. If they don't have the capacity to reasonably provide what they sold me, they shouldn't be allowed to legally weasel out of providing it without penalty.

Re:Well Duh (1)

Yoo Chung (43695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945225)

The proper way for ISPs to handle this kind of problem is to meter bandwidth, not completely block off an entire service.

Re:Well Duh (-1, Troll)

korekrash (853240) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944899)

This isn't a matter of your wife stabbing you in the face, it's more like a career criminal stabbing a jail guard in the face for locking him in a cell.

I'm tired of hearing about these idiots that just want to steal everything cry about "fairness". It's a joke. They should allow P2P to be blocked completely and get it over with. I don't want to hear about "legitimate use" of torrent either. I'd bet at least 2/3 of all torrent traffic is for pirated movies, music or software and a large portion of the remaining 1/3 is probably porn.

Not to mention it's making the large game makers ditch the PC, like EA did with Madden 09 this year, because of all the piracy. Block P2P and I bet piracy goes way down and legit users get more bandwidth...if not only temporarily....Although I'm sure the idiots will keep finding a way to "retaliate" because we lock down the criminals.....

Re:Well Duh (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945027)

People who want to steal content will just go back to running ftp servers, the way they did before teh Napster. Then they will go private and encrypted (this is where most of stealing starts already).

The end result is that in a few years, content providers will be calling for consumer ISPs to limit the amount of encrypted transfer that they allow on their networks. It will be fantastic.

Finally! (3, Funny)

tikram (1262046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944433)

Finally, I'll have a legitimate reason to slack off and not do my job...

On the other hand, how am I going to procastinate without the internet?

Re:Finally! (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944835)

You could always download something to do with Bittorrent :P

Ummm (1, Funny)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944439)

So what you're saying is that it may clog the tubes?

Someone get a plumber, quick!

Re:Ummm (5, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944651)

Call in Mr Stevens, he's unemployed and looking for work.

Re:Ummm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25944933)

He should be making license plates by now.

Re:Ummm (3, Insightful)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944973)

He's just relaxing and waiting for Bush to Pardon him.

fairness (5, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944449)

If you're going to transfer files over UDP then you need to build some TCP-like protocol on top of it. The article doesn't say exactly how BT works in this respect, but he's probably right. There's no way that BT's protocol could be as sophisticated as TCP, given its 30+ years of development.

Most people don't appreciate how amazingly well TCP's flow control works in terms of maximizing link utilization in a way that is fair to all network users. We really don't need is an arms race of new, greedier protocols.

However, one thing to realize about P2P is that because there are often dozens of active TCP connections transmitting from one machine, fairness goes pretty much out the window anyway. An alternate protocol could conceivably improve on this by applying flow control to the aggregate throughput for the whole "bundle" of connections, rather than each connection individually. This would improve fairness and also increase efficiency because you wouldn't have a bunch of TCP streams individually trying to grow their windows, causing packet losses.

Re:fairness (5, Informative)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944557)

If you're going to transfer files over UDP then you need to build some TCP-like protocol on top of it.

Not really. You would need that if you were transferring a file from one computer to another. But Bittorrent scrapes together little bits of file from lots of other computers. If a packet is lost here and there, that bit of file is naturally requested again, probably from a different machine. That's just a consequence of the way Bittorrent works.

However, one thing to realize about P2P is that because there are often dozens of active TCP connections transmitting from one machine, fairness goes pretty much out the window anyway.

There's no reason in principle for this to be the case; obviously, metering of bandwidth should be by subscriber according to money paid, not by some arbitrary and easily manipulated value like number of open TCP connections.

Re:fairness (3, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944787)

Not really. You would need that if you were transferring a file from one computer to another. But Bittorrent scrapes together little bits of file from lots of other computers. If a packet is lost here and there, that bit of file is naturally requested again, probably from a different machine. That's just a consequence of the way Bittorrent works.

That behavior needs to be driven by some timing and retry logic. Also, hosts need to determine how fast they can fire these UDP packets at each other. Those are the most basic fundamentals of transmitting bulk data over a packet network. You really would be reinventing some subset of TCP.

obviously, metering of bandwidth should be by subscriber according to money paid, not by some arbitrary and easily manipulated value like number of open TCP connections.

It's not just about metering. What about where many users share a connection to the internet, such as at a business or school? Or even in a household? What if there's a bottleneck caused by a malfunction out on the backbone? You can't have good performance in these situations unless users agree on "equally aggressive" protocols.

Re:fairness (4, Interesting)

Adam Hazzlebank (970369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945125)

Not really. You would need that if you were transferring a file from one computer to another. But Bittorrent scrapes together little bits of file from lots of other computers. If a packet is lost here and there, that bit of file is naturally requested again, probably from a different machine. That's just a consequence of the way Bittorrent works.

That behavior needs to be driven by some timing and retry logic. Also, hosts need to determine how fast they can fire these UDP packets at each other. Those are the most basic fundamentals of transmitting bulk data over a packet network. You really would be reinventing some subset of TCP.

I think what he's trying to say is the TCP connection often gets dropped completely, for example the host just goes offline, or is bogus and transmitting false data. Bittorrent needs to account for this anyway by re-requesting packets from the network, so they have implement the retry logic differently that TCP anyway.

Re:fairness (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944993)

UDP is simpler than TCP, so I don't see how switching to UDP would hurt the internet.

Not really. You would need that if you were transferring a file from one computer to another. But Bittorrent scrapes together little bits of file from lots of other computers. If a packet is lost here and there, that bit of file is naturally requested again, probably from a different machine. That's just a consequence of the way Bittorrent works.

If there is no compensation for lost UDP packets (TCP compensates by detecting and resending lost packets), the chunk (about 64kb IIRC) will not hash right and will need to be redownloaded, not just the packet (a packet can hold what 1-1.5kb? I think it varies from network to network, but TCP packets have a lot of metadata bundled and so can carry less data per packet... something like 512b IIRC).

Of course lost packets don't occur as often as you might think, in my experience. I've made a program to query Valve game servers, and this uses UDP. While testing I don't recall noticing lost packets at all.

And of course there's always the chance that uTorrent will compensate for lost packets itself anyway. Such an implementation would likely be lighter-weight than TCP anyway (otherwise why bother?) and have less metadata per packet, allowing for faster transfers (more data per packet).

Re:fairness (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945319)

The problem is that TCP self regulates and throttles itself back in the face of network congestion. UDP does not, it just blasts packets out as fast as you can feed it. Without some sort of flow control, you could disproportionally hurt TCP flows (which are trying to be good and throttling themselves back when they hit a bottleneck) by your big ugly UDP stream.

That said, the bottleneck for end users is typically the uplink on their last mile connection, so this probably won't bring the internet down or crash any ISPs, but it will make life worse for people sharing the connection.

Fun fact: The original implementations of TCP did not have flow control (it was on a test network after all). It did not take long for it to become apparent that flow control is a necessary feature. A few network meltdowns made the case quite well.

Re:fairness (5, Informative)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945279)

Not really. You would need that if you were transferring a file from one computer to another. But Bittorrent scrapes together little bits of file from lots of other computers. If a packet is lost here and there, that bit of file is naturally requested again, probably from a different machine.

No... you're getting confused between network packets (a kilobyte or two) and bittorrent's blocks (many kilobytes). Each bittorrent chunk is transferred using many network packets. If you're going to transfer those chunks using UDP, you need to sort out the packet order and do all the missing-packet checks and retries etc yourself. So you still DO need to build some kind of TCP-like protocol on top - even just for the error checking.

Re:fairness (5, Interesting)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944619)

There's no way that BT's protocol could be as sophisticated as TCP, given its 30+ years of development. Most people don't appreciate how amazingly well TCP's flow control works in terms of maximizing link utilization in a way that is fair to all network users. We really don't need is an arms race of new, greedier protocols.

TCP gets a lot of credit it doesn't deserve. It enforces bad design -- most client/server applications should be either stateless or session-based, rather than connection-oriented. Anything that even vaguely resembles a streaming application shouldn't even consider TCP. Finally, TCP's connection model is almost guaranteed to be suboptimal for any application that does require one.

What are the odds that HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and BitTorrent will all work optimally over TCP? Slim to none, and none is still waiting for Nagle.

Re:fairness (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944837)

I suppose you have some other clever way to deal with congestion?

Re:fairness (4, Interesting)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945111)

To say that TCP is optimal at dealing with congestion is to say that individual packets are always a good representation of the data blocks being sent and received at the application level, and that best thing that any application can do when expected data doesn't arrive is to wait on it to be retransmitted, with the network layer queuing up all subsequent intact packets.

Once again, this behavior is guaranteed to be completely wrong for anything but toy command-line applications that fit on a single page in the back of a musty-smelling manual.

Re:fairness (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945251)

Easy. Be able to deal with the bandwidth or stop signing up customers 'til you can.

Re:fairness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25944691)

MPLS Anyone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiprotocol_Label_Switching) ?

Greed (-1, Troll)

glrotate (300695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944697)

The whole point of 95% of torrent transfers is that the users are greedy and don't care about anyone but themselves. They couldn't care less about stealing to the point of killing one golden goose (the music industry), what makes you think they give a hoot about killing the internet?

Re:Greed (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25944849)

The music industry is hardly a golden goose. I'll accept golden turd but not goose.

Re:Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25945175)

The music industry is hardly a golden goose. I'll accept golden turd but not goose.

Not golden calf?

Re:fairness (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944727)

That is addressing the problem from an ISP's point of view, or perhaps the "**AA's talking points for ISPs" point of view.

If I pay for 10Mbps download speed, it should not matter to anyone how I use those bits. If you as my ISP cannot handle that traffic, you should NOT have sold it to me in the first place. Every time you throttle or shape my traffic, I want a rebate. It's that simple. I don't think we should have bailed out wall street and I don't think It's my responsibility to support an ISPs bad business model. That is what this problem is all about. Bad business decisions on the part of ISPs. They over sold their networks and now want a bailout. BS!

If you want regulation, how's this: If you sold me 10Mbps download and can't provide it regardless of protocol, you have committed fraud and I'm allowed to sue. I don't want to hear about your problems, just provide what you sold me.

If you sell me a parachute I expect it to work in every state, on any day of the week, and from any kind of airplane, no matter what clothes I'm wearing or not wearing. After you sold it to me, it's simply criminal to then say it only works if you are wearing green, or skydiving on a day of the week that begins with a T.

If you don't want me to use BT, then give me a 50% discount on my bill.

Re:fairness (3, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944997)

If I pay for 10Mbps download speed, it should not matter to anyone how I use those bits. If you as my ISP cannot handle that traffic, you should NOT have sold it to me in the first place

You have totally missed the point of my post! I wasn't even addressing ISP billing policy, I am talking about how to share a link. Maybe YOU have a dedicated 10Mbps link all to yourself, but not everyone is so lucky. Imagine a small business where 50 people are sharing a T1 line. For web browsing, this many users could all get decent performance, even if a handful of people are doing big downloads, provided they are all using TCP. But all it takes is one guy hammering the link at full throttle to ruin it for everyone else. For better or worse, the internet is designed on the assumption that applications play nicely in this regard.

Re:fairness (0)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945183)

The example you gave is not relevant in this case. On a typical DSL or Cable setup, the DSLAM or head-end is configured to limit the line speed of each subscriber. It would be like each port connected to the network connected to the T1 line being limited to 64kb/s. There's simply no way that any one user could saturate the connection in that case. Only if many people used their allotted bandwidth could the T1 uplink become saturated.

So one person cannot "take more" than their allotted portion. They are taking their allotted portion but the uplink to the ISP is saturated. This is not the user's fault. This is the fault of the ISP overselling too much, and there is nothing that the user can do to fix this other than not use what he is paying for.

Re:fairness (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945231)

nah, that's so 90s in thinking. A business can get a proper router that does traffic shaping or just blocks protocols. If one guy at your work is clogging up the tubes your networking admin is an idiot.

Re:fairness (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945015)

If you want regulation, how's this: If you sold me 10Mbps download and can't provide it regardless of protocol, you have committed fraud and I'm allowed to sue. I don't want to hear about your problems, just provide what you sold me.

Better read that contract again. In all likelihood it very clearly said "Up to 10 Mbps." If you dig down into the fine print it probably also has some boilerplate about it being sold as an entertainment service, not an information service. Cable and phone companies have never been real ISP's.

Re:fairness (1)

M-RES (653754) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945209)

If you dig down into the fine print it probably also has some boilerplate about it being sold as an entertainment service, not an information service. Cable and phone companies have never been real ISP's.

But for many people, information IS entertainment. ;)

Re:fairness (3, Insightful)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945329)

So, in other words, people complaining about BitTorrent users overutilizing the network should read their contract, see there's no minimum guarantee of service or line speed, and get stuffed instead of trying to bully other people into using the network in ways that would make life more convenient for them?

Re:fairness (1)

Kerelslied (1315717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945191)

I guess the day your 10 Mbps connection drops to 10 Kbps speeds, it will be within the service agreement. You can sue, but they don't want to hear about your problems as they provide you what you paid for.

Re:fairness (2, Interesting)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945247)

You're right. That's the real problem. ISPs are hacking vertically-- all BT traffic -- when they should be hacking horizontally:

I support a greedy node algorithm. Everyone starts with their burstable line, and the more you utilize, your cap slowly lowers until you reach a guaranteed minimum bandwidth threshold.

At the end of the day, greedy users will be greedy users. And if BT goes offline, they'll migrate to something else. And if I suck 100gb of crap off usenet in a month it's no different than 100gb of BT crap in terms of network stress.

Burstable lines make sense. It's a concept as old as timeshare. But if somebody is constantly "bursting" they need a governor on their line.

Re:fairness (4, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945303)

If I pay for 10Mbps download speed

No, you don't. A dedicated 10 Mbps link would run thousands of dollars a month (a T1, which is 1.5 each way, is ~$300 in the US) and most consumers can't swing that sort of dedicated line. Instead, you paid for a connection that is 10 Mbps maximum and you knew damn well that you would be sharing it with others in your neighborhood. How else could you rationalize paying only $60/month for faster-than-T1 level service?

Pretending that you don't understand the difference between a dedicated line and a shared line is utterly unconvincing to me.

Re:fairness (4, Funny)

HardCase (14757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944741)

And all this time I thought that spam was going to cause the Internet to melt down. Maybe we need new terminology. Instead of "melt down", it should be "Global Internet Change".

Re:fairness (1)

Ummite (195748) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944841)

It's not because it's used since 30 years+ that TCP is so great. Does VHS was better than Beta? Making a home made TCP over UDP isn't especially complicated ; especially when you have no obligation to get packets in the right order, and that you can retry if you get a missed packet. I think the best of both world would be to use a FTP like scheme : one tcp channel to do control, and UDP packets for file content. If the TCP get throttled, this is not a big deal since there will be not so much data on it.

Re:fairness (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945171)

Not really, actually.

TCP enforces and faciliates delivery certainty. You may be sure that a packet arrived. It gives you everything to make sure some packet arrives in time, if it's fragmented and arrives in the wrong order it's reassembled and all the other little bits that are quite useful when you're normally transfering data.

This doesn't really apply to Bittorrent and the way it works. Bittorrent by its very nature transfers little parts of files. Parts in a size that can easily avoid fragmentation. Parts where it doesn't really matter whether they arrive at all. If they don't, the requesting machine will simply ask for it again. Maybe now, maybe later, maybe even from another source.

Yes, TCP has its merits and sometimes they are even used sensibly. Don't make me start about all the cases where TCP is used without any reason because neither packet size matters nor certainty of delivery is a criterion, but it's just "easier". But BT can well work on UDP and even generate less overhead and thus actually less traffic than it does today.

Face it. QoS, Netneutrality and traffic shaping or not: People will find a way around it. And when the choice is encryption and wrapping BT packets in even more overhead (because, say, the provider will only allow HTTP-Packets at full speed) or using UDP, it's a no brainer. For both sides.

Re:fairness (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945285)

Assuming for a moment that BitTorrent sent individual chunks of files as single UDP packets, this wouldn't actually be true anymore.

That would be massively inefficient, but the current protocol is too.

For all my experience with QoS and firewalling, I still can't manage to keep my gaming sessions lag-free while downloading Fedora 10's DVD by BitTorrent (at any reasonable speed), but its fine using HTTP/FTP.

This is a good thing (5, Insightful)

Gotung (571984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944473)

In the end this will be a good thing for the internet.

Forcing ISPs to treat all traffic the same, because they can't tell what is what, will be good for net neutrality.

You should get the bandwidth you pay for, regardless of what actually travels over it.

Re:This is a good thing (4, Insightful)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944647)

Except that probably isn't what will happen.

Let's use Comcast as an example.

Their target customer "surfs the web", and checks their email.

Their high-maintenance customers, who complain about latency issues, throughput, etc. are the ones who use UDP in any significant volume.

UDP is used for online gaming, VoIP, etc. They will just start to deprioritize UDP, which is bad. 99% of customers won't notice the difference, but we will.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944869)

Next step: switch to raw sockets, and implement a TCP without congestion control. Filter that!

Re:This is a good thing (2, Funny)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945229)

The real next step: file transfers over HTTP. Or go right out and tunnel IP over HTTP!

Re:This is a good thing (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944953)

So, you think 1% of the internet users are online gamers? I don't have numbers, but I guess it's much more than that. And these people will notice bandwith problems.

I completely agree with Gotung when he says you should get what you pay for. And if the ISPs don't like what is happening with p2p now, they should work out a way to bill the users according to the internet usage. I can't see why not.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

ThaReetLad (538112) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944807)

Maybe, but few of us have been actually paying enough to actually cover the cost of providing that full bandwidth 24/7.

The ISPs assume that their customers will only use the peak bandwidth very occasionally, so that upstream they only have to provide enough bandwidth so that, on average, they are able to meet the minimum service levels. If the amount of bandwidth customers actually use rises dramatically the ISP will have to add a lot of extra capacity (and charge people for it) or introduce bandwidth caps.

Re:This is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25945161)

| The ISPs assume

I see the problem right there. And you know what? it's not MY problem.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

c0y (169660) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944955)

You should get the bandwidth you pay for, regardless of what actually travels over it.

It is time for an end to flat-rate pricing then. As long as my neighborhood hogs are actually paying their fair share, and my provider uses that revenue to increase our infrastructure so that I don't suffer his piggishness then everything would work out.

I blame ... (0, Flamebait)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944497)

The terrorists, it's all their fault.

File Service Protocol (2, Interesting)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944499)

"They" said the same thing about once popular File Service Protocol (http://fsp.sourceforge.net/) way back when the net was young, pre-Napster, and before any massive internet infrastructure investment was made...

Re:File Service Protocol (4, Insightful)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944839)

They also said the same thing when UDP streaming internet video became a hit-- their servers couldn't keep up.
They just had to upgrade.

Hopefully the same thing will happen now.

Re:File Service Protocol (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945253)

I think this whole thing is just hinging on them upgrading the darned infrastructure. The ISP's have sat fat and lazy for too long just selling you a "faster pipe" as the last mile of cable got faster. All that while though the baseline infrastructure has been receiving upgrades as a snail's pace, while at the same time more and more users are jumping onto the net in droves.

They pocketed far too much money that should have been allocated to network upgrades to actually support increasing TRUE capacity - not just a theoretical burst speed that you might maybe be able to get for 3 or 4 minutes back home.

It's like that lazy employee who has 3 months to do 1 week's worth of work. He puts it all off until he has 2 days left, and then starts to moan about how he doesn't have enough time to do all this work. Well, at this point, he's right. It's his own fault though. My boss has a nice poster in her office that I think applies here: "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

Comcast (1)

CDOS_CDOS run (669823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944545)

Comcast will just block UDP completely... duh it's not like they care if you can use 'your internets'

Re:Comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25944625)

Once your modem says it's connected, Comcast is satisfied that they have done their job.

Re:Comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25945013)

Ya because nothing relies on UDP at all...

Just around the corner (1)

Yaur (1069446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944599)

The net has been about to melt down any day now for at least 10 years.

Re:Just around the corner (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944897)

Yeah. I remember reading something similar when the "secret" of adjusting your MTU came out in the days of 56K modems.

I know! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25944659)

Quick, someone add more tubes!

Daft (1)

symes (835608) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944681)

Gamers, VoIP and video conference users beware. The leading BitTorrent software authors have declared war on you - and any users wanting to wring high performance out of their networks.

What a load of nonsense. The best solution (if there's a problem here in the first place) is for ISPs to drop any bandwidth allocation.

excuses... (1)

Oceanplexian (807998) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944693)

Obviously, isps aren't going to lay down and die. They'll simply throttle the offending users and throttle udp for residential customers. The problem with this is that legitimate applications like voip will be blocked or throttled with the excuse of "fighting the thieving pirates". I hate packet tampering as much as anyone else here, but without qos rules everyone loses.

don't see it myself (5, Insightful)

myxiplx (906307) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944711)

Well, since The Register don't seem to want to print my comment*, I'll repeat it here:

"I think this is a bit of scaremongering that's missing one vital point:

When an ISP throttles UDP packets because somebody is using excessive bandwidth, they'll be dropping packets *from that source*.

So while .torrent moving to UDP is going to affect VOiP and games, the effects of that will be *restricted to the person using excessive bandwidth* via bittorrent. There's no reason it would affect anybody else, and I doubt ISP's are going to be dumb enough to block packets at random.

Unfortunately that kind of blows the articles entire premise out of the water."

Myx

* Posted at 12:40pm, ten minutes after the article appeared, at a point where there were no other comments on the article. 3 hours later there are 37 comments, but no sign of mine. Now it may be that they've just been overwhelmed with comments, but I'm a suspicious soul at times...

ISPs will love UDP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25944743)

If they drop TCP packets or try to fake reset the connection, it's obvious and provable. If they silently discard UDP packets, that's just normal network behavior.

Re:ISPs will love UDP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25945117)

It's not at all obvious and provable, especially they're doing it less often than Comcast was, considering that RST resets happen anyhow!

bittorrent is THE mesh networking application! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25944753)

I was thinking. The people doing Skype have a point. I don't care if my packets take three, four, or five times as long to get to me. I ONLY care about the total time to get the 700 MB (or whatever). It could take a path five times as long as the voice communication, I don't care.

Then it hit me. A CD-ROM. They're always falling off the shelf above me.

As I lay there rubbing my head I thought: if my roommates voice call is so important, he wont mind peering into a mesh network at the same time, to keep me from using his bandwidth with his ISP. The thing about mesh networks is, they're nowhere near as direct as your ISP. But with bittorrent it just and simply DOESN'T MATTER. It literally doesn't matter if it it take 8 seconds to get from me to my roommate to his neighbor to their roommate to their son downstairs in the basement to their neighbor across the lawn who is one of my seeds. ALL that matters is not getting throttled.

Folks: Bittorrent is the killer mesh application, and we need to get people who want their precious skype to realize that just by joining the mesh, they can improve their voice quality! It's the perfect trade-off.

Total bullshit (3, Interesting)

Idaho (12907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944755)

UDP does not guarantee delivery. If ISP's want to, they can simply start dropping UDP packets once the total amount exceeds a certain threshold. This should be almost trivial to implement.

Sure, just blindly dropping all types of UDP packets will also degrade VoIP services etc, but certainly this does not need to impact "the entire speed of the internet".

Since VoIP and other "normal" uses of UDP do not need terribly high bandwidth, the problem can be easily solved by imposing a maximum UDP throughput per IP and simply dropping any UDP packets past that limit. That way, VoIP will still work just fine but other services "abusing" UDP will just be effectively capped by the unguaranteed delivery.

I'd love to see lawsuits about this as well, as UDP does not guarantee delivery so you would hardly have a basis to complain when ISP's drop such packets, especially as long as they deliver *most*, but not necessarily all such packets.

In the End (1)

NotNormallyNormal (1311339) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944763)

In the end, is this truly going to change how the ISPs work? The article mentions that one of the reason for doing this is because of Bell Canada. I personally don't think Bell Canada is going to care - neither will Comcast and all the other ISPs who throttle and shape the network (can we say all ISPs at this point to at least some extent?).

Really, all this will do is continue to drive a wedge between the "evil" file sharers and "enlightened" ISPs who will attempt to use the other 95% of the users to make claims to whoever will listen... Personally I don't do much file sharing and I'd get real pissed if my broadband speed dropped to a quarter of what I actually pay for.

Re:In the End (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945017)

neither will Comcast and all the other ISPs who throttle and shape the network (can we say all ISPs at this point to at least some extent?).

Spirit Telecom SEEMS to still not be doing anything right now. I only have a 1Mbps downstream so I might be a bad measurement, but I get full bandwidth from that at all times even on Bittorrent. I'm not sure what my monthly bandwidth usage is, but I can say that I have Bitorrent configured to allow 100% utilization while I'm at work and 40% when I'm home, and more often than not I have files queued up for transfer (or at a minimum, I'm seeding files). I still haven't hit any throttling or caps so far. As mentioned though, with the 1Mbps downstream it'd be darned hard to hit the 250GB limit that Comcast set for example.

best thing for the Internet? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944777)

Obviously if you're going to try to transfer large files over UDP you're going to need to develop some way to ensure reliable delivery - which is exactly what TCP does. TCP has years of work behind it, so the odds of you coming up with something just as good as TCP are fairly slim. So I can certainly understand why folks out there would be somewhat apprehensive about this decision... There is a distinct possibility that the new protocol will waste tons of bandwidth or do something horrible to existing equipment or summon up a shoggoth. There is certainly the possibility that damage will be done.

But is that necessarily bad for the Internet? ISPs are regulating the hell out of TCP traffic. They're shaping and compressing virtually every packet that crosses their networks. They're blocking ports and resetting connections. They are intentionally preventing their customers from using the bandwidth they've bought in the way they want. Doesn't that count as damage?

Maybe this is exactly what the Internet needs to drive home the point of network neutrality. Maybe if ISPs get stuck with a new, horribly inefficient protocol that they can't mangle they'll realize it was a bad idea to abuse TCP.

Re:best thing for the Internet? (1)

japhering (564929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945065)

Problem is most ISPs aren't setup to pay for new equipment at the needed rates. They are setup to only replace equipment as it fails or as it reaches the end of tax deductibility( 3- 5 years in the US ). Around here, we replace everything every third year and figure that 20% of the gear will fail in any given year.

Thus to change to an every year update plan would probably require a doubling (which the ISPs would see as their chance to triple) the existing rates, with no other benefits than the ability to use your paid for bandwidth. No speed or reliability improvements without adding yet another multiple to the cost.

Adobe Flash (3, Insightful)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944797)

Is more in cause of the frickin' meltdown of the internet with about half the content of web sites being Flash-based animated and (GAH!) audio adds.

Flash video is also irreparably defective.

Disclaimer: did I mention I hate Flash?

Bah, self limiting... (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944801)

The problem with UDP rate control is:

a) Unless you make it TCP fair, you stomp on the user's OWN traffic, which is already a big problem for BitTorrent clients which fill up DSL and cable-modem buffers. And if you DO make it fair, then it doesn't matter.

b) It doesn't stop ISP traffic management, it just forces their devices to be inline.

c) The biggest offender, Comcast, is moving away from P2P blocking anyway.

...youtube? (1)

amclay (1356377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944847)

They use UDP. And it eats bandwidth like none other. Oh noes!

Re:...youtube? (1)

eggnet (75425) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945035)

No they don't.

why (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944907)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think actually we can reduce the bandwidth by switching to UDP. With UDP you need to implement your own transmission control, and if BitTorrent can make its own lightweight implementation, the transmission control overhead caused by TCP will be reduced.

Actually I see UDP a better alternative for BT because you don't need to make sure every packet is transmitted successfully, given how BT seeding works.

I see TFA's point is not that UDP increases traffic, but they are harder to be throttled by ISPs. Well then why don't the ISPs upgrade their own infrastructure to handle the increased traffic and charge their users accordingly to cover the cost? Blame the current economy?

Again, I don't know much in this area so I may be wrong.

Everyone wants a piece of the pie... (3, Informative)

papasui (567265) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944925)

...but nobody wants to pay for it. It's been said many, many, many, times before but the average user doesn't have any concept how much bandwidth costs for the circuit to a carrier alone, much less the hardware required to light it. I work with carrier-level Cisco gear, a single linecard alone is in the 50k price range. A single router I work with has 8 of those. It takes at least 2 of those routers to handle a few small to medium size towns, (30k subscribers). That's just the price to give you a connection back to the local building, of course I'm omitting the cost of the wiring to your home, the equipment required to power it, etc, etc. We haven't even discussed how much the transport out to the internet begins to cost. I think a lot of ISP's are beginning to see that it's probably a failing business model, and because of that they are making some-what drastic changes to try and make it sucessful. Things like bittorrent, youtube, etc are what make the web truely great, but at the same time they very well could be the downfall in the current state of the internet. You of course could always get your own internet circuit but even a T1 will be at least $300 per month + construction costs and appropriate gear to utilize it.

Won't create any changes (2, Informative)

Thorizdin (456032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944951)

ISP's have been managing UDP traffic for years now, this won't change anything. Any of the deep packet inspection boxes (Packeteer, Allot, Sandvine, Ellacoya, etc) can identify the traffic whether it is UDP or TCP as can open source tools like Ntop. Encrypting the traffic can of course disguise what's in the packets, but the overhead hurts transfer speed. In addition, several of the new generation of traffic shapers don't even care what layer 4 protocol you're using, things like Netequalizer just looks at the two IP end points of a given conversation and treats it as a flow regardless.

Remember Y2K? (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25944989)

This all sounds familiar, this promise that all computers would collapse and the internet become a smoking ruin that could never be used again. As long as I can log on and keep reading these prophecies of doom, I'll know that I still have plenty of time left before I need to go to the hardware store to get the materials for my The End is Nigh sign.

Upgrade the core and its routers (2, Insightful)

suraj.sun (1348507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945003)

from http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21500602- [dslreports.com] :

Re: Is this a good thing for the net?

Yawn, here comes the typical argument... bandwidth is bandwidth, either way you look at it. All p2p does is open several simultaneous connections, splitting the user's bandwidth. Unless you horribly misconfigured your client to open up, say, 1000 ports.

It's not as if the user is using any more bandwidth than if they were conducting a regular http download. P2P actually is better for a network, as (given enough peers) it completes downloads significantly faster than normal centralized server methods, thus getting heavy users off the network noticeably faster (obviously, unless the user is dumb enough to allocate their entire upstream bandwidth to seeding).

As to bypassing the "TCP congestion control" you speak of, do you think Bell's solution is ANY better? The throttling of particular packets by itself violates the principles of TCP. Not only that, it also throttles/cripples MANY legitimate applications, such as secure VPN's or other encrypted connections.

Do you REALLY want that as an alternative to this so-called "problem" of p2p? I've said over an over, the ideal solution is to gracefully scale back speed for ANY upload/download if the said user is using their full bandwidth for more than 20 minutes during peak hours. This actually solves the problem, unlike throttling schemes like bell's, which render many legitimate applications useless. Let's face it, even Comcast here in the states has been forced to take a long hard look at their policy on Sandvine. Soon enough, we can only hope Bell will as well...

Do I even support the above solution? By itself, absolutely NOT!! IMHO, the ideal solution is to upgrade the core and its routers. However, that takes time and capital that companies like Bell are rather unwilling to spend; they'd rather (ab)use their position in the limited Canadian ISP market to deploy band-aid solutions like throttling p2p.

About time to meter usage?? (3, Interesting)

foxalopex (522681) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945023)

I find it disappointing that ISPs don't meter usage. It would help cut down on spam and viruses for example if users suddenly realized that something was costing them a lot of money and wasting bandwidth. I mean all our other services are metered. As for myself there are months when I download huge amounts of anime and then there are other months where I download next to nothing yet I still pay the same amount. This fact alone means it's more beneficial for me to download like a nutcase and ruin it for everyone else. Granted the only catch is that ISPs would hopefully charge reasonable rates with a certain flat fee to maintain the line. To folks to believe otherwise, I suspect you're not willing to give up your free lunch to the expense of others. The Internet is a limited resource as some ISPs are learning the hard way. Given the choice between metered usage versus throttled / controlled / broken Internet, I'd pay for metered anyday.

Bandwidth throttling... (1)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945089)

For years before bandwidth throttling became all the rage for ISPs I had been using torrents to download all sorts of files, discographies, TV show series, radio show .mp3 collections, etc. and not once did my ISP ever say that I was taking too much bandwidth. The entire article is a witch hunt for movie pirates but the author lacks the balls to say it hiding instead behind technical jargon.

The internet evolved as a gentleman's system in the comfortable confines of the ivory towers of academe, but now that it's an essential part of daily life for more than a billion people, the time has come to get realistic about its management.

First off the internet originated from ARPANET a military funded library project...it was hardly an evolutionary gentlemen system. Secondly, the things the internet is two most used for are social networking sites, and pornography. Essential part of daily life? I hardly think so for those billion people.

Some of the people who use this system are spoiled children with no more concern for the greater good than junkies looking for their next fix.

What the hell is he even talking about? OK children and junkies don't need the internet, gotcha.

They can't be allowed to spoil it for the rest of us, and the only practical means to prevent their doing so is to unleash effective management upon them.

When is the last time anyone here heard of someone complaining about lack of bandwidth because their neighbor was using too many torrents? Never?

50% of internet traffic is P2P? (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945103)

Most of the time when I hear crap like "By most estimates..." with out any sign of a source to back it up, I attribute the remainder of the sentence the same amount of credence as the sound of my coworker's ass cheaks flapping together after an especially hanious fart.

Maybe he's right, but with out anything to back up his opinion, he just looks like some shill who is lobying for some organization with a strong financial incentive for not seeing net nuetrality laws and being allowed to run deep packet inspection.

The best I can find is Ellacoya's June 2007 report that put P2P at 37% of total bandwidth. http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20070618005912&newsLang=en [businesswire.com]

A wee bit shy of the 50% the author is claiming.

Another obvious way to see what the impact is would be to look at a tool like http://www.internettrafficreport.com/30day.htm [internettr...report.com] to see if the change to UDP and expected rise in bandwidth actually effects TCP communication. If it is as gloom and doom as the author makes it out to be, we should see a steady rise in lost packets as the P2P users upgrade to the new UDP defaulting version.

This report from March 2008 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,342988,00.html [foxnews.com] sites Arbor Networks (they bought out Ellacoya in early 2008) claims P2P traffic represents about a third of internet traffic.

I'm all for making a plan to be able to react if a problem is detected. But lets not get all worked up over someone's questionable theories.

-Rick

Scare Mongering? (5, Insightful)

Concern (819622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945159)

This sounds like the basest kind of scare mongering, relying on a basic ignorance of the way networks work.

UDP is not any less filterable than TCP. To even make this argument, the reasoning is so contorted as to be silly. In either case, one uses a router to inspect packets and decide what to do with them. ISPs will simply go as deep through the envelopes as they like; they already do. With that knowledge they will do whatever is allowed by law. At present, almost anything is. If they abuse that power too foolishly, then it will start to be taken away from them.

And in the meantime, whoever they filter will tweak to retaliate, and it will always be a race. As far as I can see, this is just the ISPs (or their proxies) stopping at one random lap and crying how unfair it all is.

Why ignore the real issue here? If you sold a teenager in Topeka unlimited use of a large pipe, but now cannot handle her actual unlimited use of her large pipe, then you just need to start cutting better deals.

It's as simple as that.

If the teenager cannot actually use her fat pipe, 100% of the time, then stop lying about what it is you have sold to her. Either charge more or advertise less. It's as simple as that.

When I as a CEO, and millions of others like me, buy #MB upstream and #MB downstream, and utilize it 100%, 24/7, no one quakes over the calamity of the internet backbone melting down.

All of this discussion over filtering is really a discussion of pricing. And the fact that we are talking about it in the wrong terms is creepy.

Believe me, you do not want a bunch of unaccountable telecom bureaucrats playing god with the backbone. You want a free market making these decisions.

Time and Money (1)

howman (170527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945213)

Perhaps if the big telco's spent a bit more on upgrading, widening and developing their networks rather than just pounding penny profits to shareholders this wouldn't be an issue. When are they going to realize that the people paying $35 ~ $200 a month for services which today cost about 10% of the charge are the real shareholders, and are the only real reason they are in business.

What intense spin! (1)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 5 years ago | (#25945305)

Richard Bennett could not more obviously present himself as a shill for comcast and the like. The article is complete nonsense, attempting to portray bittorrent as the enemy of the Internet.

This idiot drones on about the "ungentlemanly" conduct of using UDP for such purposes, but conveniently avoids the fact that comcast/sandvine caused this mess by injecting face TCP resets, to break bittorrent's TCP connections. Well, what does he expect would happen?

Obviously, UDP is not a good choice for bulk transfers as it lacks congestion control, but lets be fair about where the fault lies. This is not something that can be worked around at the application level, and after being pushed into this corner, there is little else that can be done to work around their abuses of the TCP protocol.

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