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Net Neutrality and BitTorrent - No More Throttling?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the my-wow-patch-is-feeling-sad dept.

The Internet 243

Umaga's Purse writes "Will ISPs still be able to throttle BitTorrent traffic now that a significant proportion of it is legit? It's a tough question, especially for ISPs like AT&T (which agreed to run a neutral network in order to gain approval for its merger with BellSouth from the FCC). It's not just a problem for AT&T, though: 'ISPs that have made no such agreements may not need to worry about BitTorrent taking over their networks, but they do need to wrestle with the issue of how to handle it now that so many legal uses of the protocol are available. Do they want to irritate their BitTorrent-using contingent, or let BitTorrent flow unhindered at the risk degrading the experience of those who don't download torrents?'"

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243 comments

w00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17849496)

fp

cmdr creampie (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17849664)

right on the goatee please!

Re:cmdr creampie (0, Flamebait)

celardore (844933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849902)

I can't help but wonder why you trolls even bother. Sure, you've got me to respond which is a result in your book, but what is the point? Most, if not all, Slashdot users have learned that goatse links are not worth clicking on. I'm wasting my time with this post I'm sure, but you trolls are surely wasting much more. I just don't get it. Trolling is outdated surely. celardore

Re:cmdr creampie (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17850318)

Let me explain. Various pressure builds up during the day and can't wait for the gym or girlfriend release at night. So I have to let it out on you guys a bit.

Which portion? (4, Insightful)

3p1ph4ny (835701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849498)

Will ISPs still be able to throttle BitTorrent traffic now that a significant proportion of it is legit?

Says who? Not that I disagree, but it would be interesting to read a study done on the matter...

Re:Which portion? (3, Interesting)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849582)

Says who?
Says "Umaga's Purse", apparently.

But for the record, there were ALWAYS legit uses for BitTorrent. It's just that they're legitimate POPULAR uses now.

Re:Which portion? (4, Informative)

boaworm (180781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849672)

Blizzards World of Warcraft updater uses bittorrent to quickly distribute the frequent and obese patches to millions of users. That gives atleast 8 million legit users straight-up, even though this of course only counts for a fragment of the traffic itself.

But as always, it comes down to the bucks, if your ISP allows unthrottled bittorrent traffic, YOU will pay the costs in the end, by higher fees. Or possibly, your ISP goes out of business :P

Important Message to ISP's: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17850202)

How to handle Bittorent traffic:

1) Charge by the (giga)byte of any data traffic (ignore protocol)
2) Scale networks to meet demand
3) Duh!
4) Prof.. (do I really have to fill this one in?)

Re:Which portion? (3, Interesting)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850616)

Blizzards World of Warcraft updater uses bittorrent to quickly distribute the frequent and obese patches to millions of users.
I disagree with that statement.

Blizzard undeniably uses bittorrent for the wow updater, yes, but me and all of my friends would argue the "quickly". It's dog slow and unreliable. No, its not a router issue or anything, we all torrent perfectly fine elsewhere (and if we were able to load the torrent in a good client like utorrent, maybe we wouldnt have a problem with this one). In the end a lot of people just close wow's uploader and wait until its up on fileplanet/filefront/etc.

I don't know whos fault it is, but I just had to throw that in there.

Re:Which portion? (2, Informative)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850738)

It's probably due to the fact that (at least as it seems to me) very few WoW users seed their torrents; they view it as a traditional patcher, and they download the material and then don't leave the thing running. Any torrent without any seeds is sure to move slower than a "healthy" torrent with a high seed:leecher ratio.

Re:Which portion? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17849784)

Everyone I know that uses BT uses it for downloading copywrited material. Movies, Apps, Songs, etc, etc.

Personaly, I love getting shit for free.

I suspect that the vast majority of BT traffic is for copywrited material.

Re:Which portion? (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850772)

Enjoy it while you can, as I suspect many, many people are working on how to track it, throttle it, and eliminate it.

Re:Which portion? (1)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849946)

VMWare virtual appliances are distributed by BitTorrent. Linux ISOs, trial software, games, independent films... that's a significant proportion, although still not a majority.

This may be a dumb question, but... (3, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849532)

...how does an ISP recognize BitTorrent traffic? As far as I can tell, it's really easy to change the port numbers used by the BitTorrent tracker and by the end user. I now that my uTorrent client is set to randomize a port and then use uPnP to ask my router to open it.

So, if the tracker port number changes and the client port number changes, how is it being blocked?

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (3, Informative)

matts-reign (824586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849560)

Software on their routers examines each packet going across the network, and if it looks like one from bittorrent, it'll be throttled accordingly. Encryption exists to beat this.

Software (1)

DarthChris (960471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850430)

This technique is known as packet-sniffing or packet-shaping.

My university uses one to block all filesharing apps. It's done because there are about 15k people living in halls and these things eat up all the bandwidth. In fact, a number of people have recently been disconnected for using p2p software when they shouldn't be (it's against T&C, besides we're on an academic network).

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849578)

...how does an ISP recognize BitTorrent traffic? As far as I can tell, it's really easy to change the port numbers used by the BitTorrent tracker and by the end user. I now that my uTorrent client is set to randomize a port and then use uPnP to ask my router to open it.

More to the point, I can set my BitTorrent client (Azureus) to encrypt all traffic. Currently I have it set to default to encryption and fallback to plaintext -- but it would be a simple matter to reject unencrypted connections.

Throttling traffic is stupid. Build your network to support the load or stop selling "unlimited" service. My cell phone provider doesn't get to decide who I can talk or what I can talk about. Why should my ISP?

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849668)

But your cell phone provider can degrade the quality of your call just a little bit to free up space, you just don't notice that much.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (2, Funny)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849714)

But your cell phone provider can degrade the quality of your call just a little bit to free up space, you just don't notice that much.
What was that? I missed that last sentence, stupid &*%^^&*( Verizon!

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (0, Flamebait)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850366)

"What was that? I missed that last sentence, stupid &*%^^&*( Verizon!"

There you go, sticking your 0.02 cents in.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849796)

But your cell phone provider can degrade the quality of your call just a little bit to free up space, you just don't notice that much.

Only on CDMA networks. On GSM using the TDMA air interface there's a finite number of slots. If I get one then it's mine to use as I see fit and you can't kick me off it.

That said, the point I wanted to make was that perhaps the problem lies in selling as "unlimited" a finite resource. In the end it shouldn't matter if I use 100GB of bittorrent or 100GB of VPN to my office. If they don't have the capacity to be selling it as unlimited then perhaps they shouldn't be selling it as unlimited.

I for one would rather be limited to a sane amount of traffic per month and have full speed downloads for my uses of bittorrent then have my usage degraded by a QoS scheme that thinks my neighbors packets are more important because they aren't bittorrent (even though he may use more bandwidth then me in the end).

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849842)

That said, the point I wanted to make was that perhaps the problem lies in selling as "unlimited" a finite resource. In the end it shouldn't matter if I use 100GB of bittorrent or 100GB of VPN to my office. If they don't have the capacity to be selling it as unlimited then perhaps they shouldn't be selling it as unlimited.

Amen to that. In fact NO provider in the US will give you unlimited of anything but dialup and that only because it's too slow to be an issue and they don't even run the modem banks any more, they pay someone to send their users to the right places.

Comcast cable limits you to 90GB (through human intervention, not automatically.) Hughesnet satellite limits you to 350MB/4 hours. Et cetera.

Oh AND, your cellphone provider WILL terminate your service if you roam too often, which makes you unprofitable. So you're wrong about that anyway.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849932)

Comcast cable limits you to 90GB (through human intervention, not automatically.) Hughesnet satellite limits you to 350MB/4 hours. Et cetera.

And that I have another problem with. They shouldn't be able to advertise it as unlimited and use some fine print in the contract to restrict how much you can use. Be up front about it!

Oh AND, your cellphone provider WILL terminate your service if you roam too often, which makes you unprofitable. So you're wrong about that anyway.

That's a different animal and I think my example is still valid. Using QoS on bittorrent is akin to my phone company telling me what I can discuss on the phone. In the end it should only matter how much bandwidth you use.

I just downloaded a 350 meg torrent last night. I left it running to bring it up to 1:1 ratio. Used 700 megs of bandwidth. Tell me, was that 700 megs of bandwidth any better or worse for them then if I had done a straight 700 meg download from kernel.org? Stop looking at the protocol and start looking at the raw bandwidth usage. It's none of your business what protocols I use.

Just my $0.02.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (4, Interesting)

Dan Farina (711066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850120)

This may work in an ideal world, but the fact is that different applications do have different needs, and to make the Internet useful for more things it is necessary to have different levels of service -- and I don't mean company A paying B for higher priority -- I mean apps VoIP, which requires moderate bandwidth but also low latency, for example, should get a higher priority than your bittorrent packet, which can build in in a queue before being unloaded to you after some VoIP is done. Similarly, Bittorrent shouldn't be throttled per se, but just relegated further back in the queue because generally one doesn't care about latency in the system, "just" throughput.

A sensible approach to make you happy (maybe) would be to limit the amount of bandwidth at each QoS level defined. If you want to burn your 500mb/month of highest QoS on bittorrent then so be it. Make the lowest tier of QoS truly unlimited. or some scheme like that.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850196)

This may work in an ideal world, but the fact is that different applications do have different needs, and to make the Internet useful for more things it is necessary to have different levels of service

I do understand that point and I do use QoS on my own connection to prioritize SSH packets (need low latency) over HTTP/Bittorrent traffic. I guess my point though is that the ISPs should have enough capacity to provide low latancy (i.e: there shouldn't even be a queue) delivery to every packet. If they can't do that because 10% of the users are using 90% of the resources on bittorrent then they need to consider why they are selling unlimited service -- not what those 10% of the users are doing.

With the possible exception of a 911 call (or maybe Gov't/military operations) I'm not aware of a scheme in which users who pay more money get better access to the PSTN. If I obtain a timeslot/line/channel/what have you for my call then they don't get to tell me what I can do with it. If a timeslot isn't available then I have to try again later.

All that said we probably do need a balance somewhere between my ideas and those that would just throttle bittorrent until it becomes useless. Still, I hope I've made my point :)

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (1)

Dan Farina (711066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850466)

I do understand that point and I do use QoS on my own connection to prioritize SSH packets (need low latency) over HTTP/Bittorrent traffic. I guess my point though is that the ISPs should have enough capacity to provide low latancy (i.e: there shouldn't even be a queue) delivery to every packet.
I assert this this is incredibly unrealistic, depending on the definition of "low." this is about as ludicrous as "let's do away with that silly hard drive/memory/cache thing (eg, the memory hierarchy) and 'just' make a CPU with lots and lots of registers. Gigabytes worth, in fact! It'll be awesome!"

Let's play out your scenario. ISPs have tons of bandwidth, everyone can exchange packets with 100ms delay...well, we could do that...if they capped your connection to 10k/s. Problem solved, right? Then everyone would be happy?

The point is that increased throughput (eg, 6mb/s) is dependent on bandwidth that could be in use, but isn't. If we just raised 10kb/s to 6mb/s and had 100ms for everyone, we may as well have had 30mb/s.

The point is coexistence and maximum utilization.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850222)

I understand the issue just fine. Here's your simple solution - run double fibers to the house. One pipe for internet, one for VOIP, or whatever other service they want to have controlled QoS's for.

Second option, just run 1 fiber, and use 2 wavelengths, then split those further up the pipe.

There's all sorts of ways they can control their networks without infringing on net neutrality or negatively affecting their customers.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (3, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850718)

Using QoS on bittorrent is akin to my phone company telling me what I can discuss on the phone. In the end it should only matter how much bandwidth you use.

This isn't so, in general. QoS restricts traffic by type. So throttling bittorrent and prioritizing Web traffic is more like making sure regular voice on phones has priority over text messages, where that speed is less critical. The basic idea of QoS as it was initially conceived was to insure VoIP and video conferences did not lag, at the expense of a Web page loading a little more slowly or a bittorrent downloading a bit more slowly yet. This can be misused, say by degrading service on the ports used for one type of VoIP, and not on another, when your competitor offers their service on the one you're degrading. In general, however, encrypting packets makes this less important.

What is a real concern and needs to be addressed by net neutrality legislation is assigning quality of service that is different for the same traffic type, but for a different origin. Assume everyone moves to strongly encrypted packets and network operators have no idea what is in a given packet. That still doesn't stop them from assigning higher priority to packets that originate from their own VoIP servers and low priority to packets transiting their network from an origin that hosts their competitor's VoIP service. Worse yet, it does not stop some network operator who has no relationship with anyone but peering networks from going to Google and telling them all packets originating from Google's IPs are going to be set to a a lower priority than packets coming from MSN and Yahoo, unless Google is willing to pay an extra fee, and then going and doing the same thing to MSN, then Yahoo. Net neutrality with regard to who, rather than what, is a lot more important, in my opinion, than this focus on traffic types. I fear it is being overlooked in the discussion of this topic in the news and what that bodes for the resultant litigation.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (4, Informative)

whois (27479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850212)

I used to have that opinion and in some ways I still do. As a user, I claim I want a fixed rate for passing data traffic, any data traffic I want. What I really want is a CIR (committed information rate) or Minimum rate I can pass data. If I truly had that and it was say 6Mb then I might be happy for a while.

The problem is that none of us are paying what it costs the ISPs to deliver 6Mb download. We're still paying the same prices or less for what we were paying for ISDN 10 years ago, or DSL 3 years ago. Now companies are upgrading their pipes over and over, mainly the "last mile" so they can provide as much bandwidth as possible to the users.

The problem is all this has to go through upstream "choke points" where 5000 people on 100Mbit connections to the internet all go through one or two Gigabit links (at least in our ISP, this is the case).

You can say "upgrade" if you want, but you're not paying enough. So we look at other ways to make it work. We're not rate limiting usually, just "smoothing" the traffic. If one person is using 45Mbit for a while and nothing else is going on then fine.. but rarely is that the case. Usually if it's during peak hours we want to throttle back the 45Mbit torrenter and open up the bursty traffic. The torrent guy doesn't really notice (he's probably not even sitting at his computer, and it just takes a little longer to get the file) and it keeps the web browser people and the mail sending people from complaining.

Having been on both sides of the fence several times I can say this:

If you want real bandwidth, pay for it. Sprint doesn't throttle anyone and almost never lets their pipes get oversubscribed (at least not at the edge). They're massively expensive though.

Don't want to pay for the cake but still want cake? Open an ISP that provides "true 10Mbit up and down to users, no gimmicks no rate limits no oversubscription" and market the hell out of it. Most people would say the business model would fail, but as a customer you know what you want, maybe you can make it work? :)

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (1)

krotkruton (967718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850036)

Exactly. If I download a few movies using bittorrent, why should my connection be throttled while my roommate downloads movies at full speed via Vongo or whatever other popular site he chooses (of course, this is assuming I am not uploading while torrenting). If they want to put limits on my connection, it should be on the amount of traffic, not the type.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (1)

scriptedfate (1058680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850076)

Encrypting does make it more difficult, but keep in mind that, unless you're paranoid, you're downloading the .torrent over an unencrypted channel. Not to mention that the tracker protocol is still unencrypted. If you are a dev-type-person, you can probably come up with an easy way to identify streams that
1) go largely in one direction,
2) are filled with seemingly-nonsense bits,
3) has one end that has recently downloaded a .torrent or connected to a tracker, and
4) has the other end in the list of IPs in the packets returned by the tracker.

Not to mention how simple it would be to grab the .torrent yourself, connect to the swarm, and identify endpoints that way.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (1)

mrogers (85392) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850522)

It's possible to classify 80-90% of traffic without looking at the payload or the port numbers, just by considering who connects to whom, for how long, with what distribution of packet sizes and inter-packet intervals. See this paper [sigcomm.org] for details.

Mind you, BitTorrent makes up such a huge fraction of traffic these days that you could probably get 80-90% accuracy by just classifying everything as BitTorrent. ;-)

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (4, Interesting)

DaHat (247651) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849606)

Back when Napster was the horror of school network admins everywhere it was not uncommon to block the common Napster port. In response students would change the port to a more common one... such as say... 80 and be able to keep on downloading... that is until the admins spent a few more bucks or upgraded their existing equipment.

Classifying network traffic based only on the port went out the window well over 5 years ago when modern packet shapers came to the market which were able to analyze the very contents of packets and classify them based on the type of service they contained rather than the port they used.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849848)

went out the window well over 5 years ago when modern packet shapers came to the market which were able to analyze the very contents of packets and classify them based on the type of service they contained rather than the port they used.

Hence why my bittorrent client supports encryption. My two cents says that it's none of my ISPs business what my packets contain. It may be their business how much bandwidth I use -- but it shouldn't matter if that bandwidth is VoIP, bittorrent, HTTP or a VPN. 100GB is 100GB regardless of what protocol generated the traffic.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850186)

My two cents says that it's none of my ISPs business what my packets contain. It may be their business how much bandwidth I use -- but it shouldn't matter if that bandwidth is VoIP, bittorrent, HTTP or a VPN. 100GB is 100GB regardless of what protocol generated the traffic.

Agreed, but net neutrality is about something more important than the type of traffic, it is the source of traffic. Large network operators have an interest in throttling traffic types, especially if they offer a VoIP service using one protocol and you're using another. They don't, however, need to know what is in your packets if they know the originating AS happens to be their competitor. They can just degrade all the packets to and from that AS that match the profile to insure their own offering is more reliable. They can threaten to slow traffic to any given web service and not their competitor unless that service provider pays up. In my opinion, stopping that is the important part of net neutrality, more so than packet contents, since we can and should all be moving to ubiquitous encryption anyway.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849966)

Classifying network traffic based only on the port went out the window well over 5 years ago when modern packet shapers came to the market which were able to analyze the very contents of packets and classify them based on the type of service they contained rather than the port they used.

This is true to some degree, but only for smaller links. Even random sampling of packets within larger links in order to analyze the traffic is really, really expensive. For the most part traffic engineering and shaping within large networks, like tier 1 ISPs, still relies primarily upon protocol and port, with some matching for ephemeral(negotiation) ports and data channel ports. Very little large scale shaping relies upon deeper packet inspection.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850576)

Classifying network traffic based only on the port went out the window well over 5 years ago when modern packet shapers came to the market which were able to analyze the very contents of packets and classify them based on the type of service they contained rather than the port they used.

So my packets are being subjected to automatic warrantless searches at domestic subnet border crossings?

"Your protocols, please."

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (5, Interesting)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850092)

there are a number of ways, from deep packet inspection (studying packets and throttling those that appear BT-ish) to just cutting the uplink speed for a naughty subscriber. i think i my ISP may have done that to me already, judging by my ratios.

i do my own traffic shaping in my house with a linksys router running openwrt [openwrt.org] and x-wrt [x-wrt.org]. i do all my BT stuff from a vmware machine dedicated to all things BT (a win2k workstation running uTorrent [utorrent.com]) and i told the QOS config to file all traffic to and from his internal IP as bulk. i also use QOS to give priority to all traffic to and from my VOIP telephone adapter.

in case you are not a linksys firmware freak... putting openwrt on your router is like upgrading your PC to openBSD. loading x-wrt on your openwrt router is like installing KDE on your openBSD machine.

the result is BT can leech and seed 24x7x365, the humans in the house can surf and game unimpeeded and phone calls suffer no jitter from MMORPGS or BT.

i feel sort of like a hypocrite for being a net neutrality fanboy and using QOS inside my firewall... but at least i can trust myself to not degrade my access in favor of my own proprietary offerings.

some may say i am a little too trusting, but i have known me for a long time... i think we can trust eachother.

Re:This may be a dumb question, but... (2, Insightful)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850776)

Having your router set to use uPnP is a security issue in my opinion. It's the first thing I turn off when I setup a modem/router. One one hand, it's a nice feature for the average user so that software can punch holes in the firewall as needed. On the other hand, malicious software/adware/spyware can punch a hole in your firewall at will.

Did I miss something? (3, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849536)

"Will ISPs still be able to throttle BitTorrent traffic now that a significant proportion of it is legit?"

On what, exactly, are you basing this assumption that "a significant proportion" of BitTorrent traffic is legitimate?

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

Anti-Trend (857000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849908)

On what, exactly, are you basing this assumption that "a significant proportion" of BitTorrent traffic is legitimate?
If you are actually interested in an answer, take Blizzard for example. They use BitTorrent technology to push updates for World of Warcraft which would normally be cost and logistically prohibitive to do. Also take into account that many smaller companies/sites/individuals which host their own multimedia content (e.g. freeware games, independent films, indie music) but don't have unlimited funds/bandwidth will often make their content available by torrent. Indeed, it's about the only option that makes sense for them. And when I download my Debian Linux discs, legally under the terms of the GPL and compatible licenses, where do you think those downloads come from? Sometimes from donated space/bandwidth on corporate or university FTP servers, but more often then not, it's via BitTorrent.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

heroofhyr (777687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849920)

Significant doesn't mean majority, it means large in scope, meaning, or size. And there is a large amount of legitimate BitTorrent traffic. FreeBSD distributes their releases through torrents, and generally when I've downloaded from there the swarm size is in the hundreds or thousands of users per ISO. Same with a lot of GNU/Linux distribution ISOs. Any time Azureus wants to update itself the download has maybe 8.000 seeders offering it. BitTorrent is actually a great way to distribute software updates and large disc images of software because you don't have to rely on one site's bandwidth or sift through a list of mirrors in a browser. I think one thing holding back legitimate use is that a lot of torrent sites (private, not the ones you find in Google) don't want people posting legal torrents to stuff they could download elsewhere over HTTP or FTP. Then again that's probably because anyone who belongs to one of these sites knows it's an easy and safe way to get their user ratio back out of the red provided there's enough leechers. But more and more open source projects are relying on torrenting to distribute their software without needing a centralised system of mirrors and fast downstreams.

Backwards (2, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850040)

It's innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent. Furthermore, ISPs are not self-appointed judges/juries/executioners. They have NO right to single out bittorrent for traffic shaping.

On the other hand, they do have a right to make their networks perform as efficiently as possible for their customers, and for the good of the web in general. The problem is that there's a fine line between the two.

For those wondering how ISPs filter bittorrent traffic... it's called layer 7 (or application layer) traffic shaping. Various other names, too. But it's nothing (very) new -- it's old enough, in fact, to be installed *FOR* ISPs, by default, by some upstream providers.

Re:Backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17850538)

It's innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent.
Only when it involves the government.
If you're on my network, you're guilty unless you prove otherwise.

Neither. (2, Informative)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849552)

Do they want to irritate their BitTorrent-using contingent, or let BitTorrent flow unhindered at the risk degrading the experience of those who don't download torrents?

Neither. Instead, focus on upgrading the infrastructure and giving people more bandwidth, the US is already behind pretty much the rest of the world. . .

Re:Neither. (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850118)

Or they get together with the bittorrent people and work out a way they can run a caching server so they aren't fetching the same thing 5000 times from outside their network and wasting bandwidth.

I there had been some sort of push for decent caching or multicast support in the first place it's possible bittorrent would never have happened. If they're having infrastructure problems now, they only have their own lack of foresight to blame.

Re:Neither. (1)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850168)

BitTorrent, on a well designed network, will save an ISP money. The argument can be made that there's less traffic going out to the Internet and more staying local to the ISPs LAN. Basically, it's more cost effective for neighbors to serve each other content than to pull it from somewhere else.

The ISPs are ticked off that users are actually using the bandwidth that they pay for. If they didn't sell so far over capacity, this wouldn't be an issue at all. I understand that BitTorrent can bring routers to their knees, but only bad ones. ISPs, generally, shouldn't be using the same hardware sold at Best Buy. If their equipment can't handle it, chances are it's already at capacity.

I pay for 12MiB of bandwidth and I expect to saturate it. I don't want my ISP telling me that I can't use a particular protocal because I might actually max out the speed that I'm paying for. What am I paying a performance surcharge for? Anything that might cause them to fulfill their service agreement, they seem to be against. There even used to be an unenforceable ban on streaming video by my ISP.

BitTorrent will be the way telecoms introduce usage surcharges on top of monthly service agreements. They won't stop until Internet usage is billed like cellular telephones... buy a base bandwidth, and for each Kb/sec over that speed, you pay an additional fee... plus $0.25 per text message (email) sent... but "unlimited" (up to 2MiB) nights & weekend bandwidth.

This is why France has broadband 100 times faster than us.

Re:Neither. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17850554)

Earth to you, network bandwidth is measured in megabits (a million bits), not mebibytes (a totally faggoty hard drive thing). It's bad enough that mebibytes are the most mind-numbingly retarded standard ever thought up, but here they're not even appropriate.

It's confusing, I know, but even growing up I understood intuitively the difference between kilobits and kilobytes. My modem would connect at 40kbps, which is 40,000 bits per second, but when my browser claimed 4.0KB/sec download speed I knew it was pulling 32,768 bits per second.

Re:Neither. (1)

OakLEE (91103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850606)

the US is already behind pretty much the rest of the world
While probably is true, I think this statement is a gross over generalization. Broadband is available in all major urban areas. The fact that rural areas lack broadband skews the statistics.

France for example has a density of 110 people/sq. km. link [wikipedia.org]. Germany has a population density of 232. The US, by contrast has a density of 31. In terms of broadband coverage, it's going to be a lot easier to connect a dense country like Germany or France than it would be to cover the US. The amount of cable/fiber alone needed to connect all of the rural populations could probably completely wire a couple medium sized countries with dense populations.

I could not find any statistics, but a better measure would be what percentage of the urban population has access to broadband.

Correct me if I'm wrong... (5, Insightful)

kailoran (887304) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849562)

...but I thought that net neutrality didn't make QoS illegal

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (4, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849760)

You are correct. Whoever asked this question clearly does not understand what network neutrality is about. To put it in terms that the person asking the question can understand: It is not about preventing degradation of BT, but rather about ensuring that BT can connect to all trackers with equally degraded quality. :-)

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849864)

At least that is what it should be.

I have little faith that congress can get this right.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850268)

Well said. Sell me bandwidth, and let me decide how to use it. If I exceed my allotment, it doesn't matter whether it is due to bit torrent, streaming media or me refreshing slashdot every second so I can get a frist post; bill me per whatever rate structure I agreed to when I signed up for the service and mind your own business.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (2, Funny)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850354)

Whoever asked this question clearly does not understand what network neutrality is about.

And I don't blame them, as no one else really seems to agree on what the phrase "network neutrality" is supposed to mean, or even how it should be capitalized.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850698)

Whoever asked this question clearly does not understand what network neutrality is about.

Have you read the bill? I have read two different versions of bills, but I haven't seen the one as currently submitted, but it as quite clear in the net neutrality bills I read that blocking or slowing a service (like BT) would be illegal. If you think that is because someone doesn't understand what net neutrality is about, then you should talk to the legislators.

Trade off (3, Interesting)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849584)

I would imagine the ISP would haev to use their best judgement, like any business. If they throttle/block BT and a bunch of people start leaving or complaining then they need to rethink it. If no one complains, sales don't drop and (*gasp*) someone actually compliments them on better respoinse times or faster connections then they have nothing to worry about.

I guess the tricky part is at teh beginning when too big of a change may trigger a mass exodus. If they slowly start throttling it down and don't see much change in their business then they can keep that up until it becomes a problem.

Personally I think if/when ISPs do this they could avoid a lot of hassles by explaining it to people up front, in plain English, instead of burying their right to throttle your "unlimited" bandwidth in a cryptic and massive Acceptable Use Policy.

Re:Trade off (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849734)

But how can you tell that your bittorrent is going slow due to your ISP throttling it or theres just not enough seeders, too many leechers, seeders are all overseas, etc. Bittorrent is a fairly irregular protocol in terms of speed, I doubt anyone would complain because they'd never know their ISP was doing anything.

Re:Trade off (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850018)

Yeah that's a good point, it's not easy to tell why it may be slow.

OTH though you begin to get a pretty good feel for what's going to work and what's not after you use it for a while. As an example, I've noticed a lot of BT aggregation sites are starting to show stats on seeders v. leachers, availability, avg. speed, etc. If things look good on "stats" but you're slow then you can infer a bit there. Granted this applies to those who know how to use BT (E.g. know when they're firewalled or not).

Another indicator comes from friends/families and other networks. If I go to my brother's house, show him how to get Grateful Dead shows from thetradersden after using it myself for a while now and it's slow I will suspect his ISP. Naturally I'd double check the FW, double check thetradersden stats for the torrent and try a few random torrents before I reached that conclusion...

I guess, knowing what I know about BT, I assume that a lot of people that need to worry about their ISP throttling them are savvy enough to test things and determine what may be casuing them problems.

Re:Trade off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17850680)

If I go to my brother's house, show him how to get Grateful Dead shows from thetradersden after using it myself for a while now and it's slow I will suspect his ISP.

In the case of a Dreadful Great torrent that was slow, my first suspicion would be that the content put the network into the connection state called Catatonia.

Re:Trade off (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850026)

How can you tell if your BitTorrent is going slow due to your ISP having slower or fewer backbone connections than a competitor? This isn't a problem unique to the 'Net Neutrality debate, and it's inappropriate to try and "solve" it this way.

If you really want to be sure you have the best connection you'd need to do some empirical studies (or let some technology publication know that you'd be interested in subscribing or viewing their ads if they did one). This has the added benefit of working regardless of WHY your BitTorrent downloads are slower, be it slower connections or policy (throttling) decisions.

Re:Trade off (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850284)

...when too big of a change may trigger a mass exodus.
Are you going to go to the "other" cable company? Oh wait, natural monopoly, there isn't one.
Are you going to jump on some DSL lovin? Crap, no service in the area.
Satilite? Possibly no coverage in the area and 500-1500ms ping is rather high.

I really doubt they're worried about it. In many (most?) markets there's simply nothing to emigrate to.

It's obvious (4, Insightful)

JoeWalsh (32530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849602)

Throttle back some protocol that only a few of their customers have even heard of, or keep the average user from having a good experience. Hmm. Tough choice.

Most users don't download torrents.

Re:It's obvious (1)

cswiger2005 (905744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849778)

Most users don't download torrents.

True. But most people download something, say, over port 80 or 443, and once you use TLS/SSL, packet inspection can't tell whether you are talking to your bank's secure website or a Bitorrent proxy via SSL.

This, by the way, is an argument for configuring business networks where port 80 & 443 are blocked outbound, and all the client machines have to go through a proxy machine, which can at least track the destination, and let you look for excessive usage via proxy-log analysis.

Re:It's obvious (1)

tchuladdiass (174342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850648)

Business networks can also get away with busting open ssl traffic. Since they control the browsers on their network, they can push out their own cert to everyones browser, then do a man-in-the-middle attack and re-sign the packets using their key (which everyone's browser would blindly accept, since the company's cert is in the browsers trust CA list).
Of course, this won't work if a user installs their own browser (in that case, the user would see a popup window saying the cert isn't valid).

Put in other words.. (3, Interesting)

wfberg (24378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849666)

"Will ISPs still be able to throttle WorldWideWeb traffic now that a significant proportion of it is legit? .. Do they want to irritate their BitTorrent-using contingent, or let WorldWideWeb flow unhindered at the risk degrading the experience of those who use e-mail and telnet only?'"

...and where is the torrent slowing down the net? (1)

JAB Creations (999510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849692)

Call me crazy but I haven't noticed any slow downs on the internet except for the occasional outage that can be explained through a a tracert. Torrents have their weak point: connections. If you make too many active connections with your torrent client you effectively kill your ability to surf the web simultaneously at least here in Florida with Comcast.

Re:...and where is the torrent slowing down the ne (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849912)

Call me crazy

You're crazy.

but I haven't noticed any slow downs on the internet except for the occasional outage that can be explained through a a tracert.

No kidding. Back in the day it was easy to notice slowdowns. You could almost feel them if you had, you know, a couple telnets open to various places, and maybe an irc. These days the internet is such a big hairy mofo with so many paths that it has a much greater tendency to route around problems. You lose a few packets, your application (or your kernel, depending on protocol) recovers, and you usually never even notice.

But what I suspect they're actually talking about is things like overuse of the local loop. For instance, cable modems are on segments and there's only so much bandwidth available per segment. If everyone on your street is torrenting like mad it's going to hurt your transfer rates.

BitTorrent - Just Say No (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17849708)

There's no good reason to use BitTorrent for legal downloads. Using server technology on a client is a security desaster waiting to happen.

Why do they have to stop? (1)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849718)

BT throttling is already done in a net neutral manner--all torrents, regardless of legality or origin are throttled equally. There is no attempt (as far as I know) to throttle torrents originating from one company but not others.

Throttling BT downloads generally falls as a quality of service/defense of network integrity issue to rather than a censorship for profit issue.

Throttle the traffic, not the protocol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17849722)

ISPs have a right to throttle users that are using excessive bandwidth, but it should not be protocol based.

the real thing stopping throttling (0)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849770)

one update and everyone torrent client will use a random port number. Then ISPs will have to identify torrent traffic by the pattern it downloads in and other stuff. Then when other programs that happen to work similarly get throttled, the law suits will fly. In fact, I think I'm going to go change what port my client runs on right now :)

Mutually Exclusive? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17849772)

FYI - Just so no one gets their panties in a bunch. Prioritizing traffic, does not mean that BitTorrent is going to get hurt. It means that when the network is constrained, BitTorrent traffic will be given a lower priority. And, when the network is no longer constrained, it won't. Traffic engineering is not illegal under Net Neutrality. You just aren't allowed to sell the service of high priority queuing. Or, worse than that . . . You can't put every VOIP provider but your own into a low priority queue unless they are willing to pay a fee.

So, high/low speed BitTorrents are not likely to be protected by Network Neutrality laws. They are not mutually exclusive.

Re:Mutually Exclusive? (1)

vonPoonBurGer (680105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849992)

Exactly. Just because the majority of traffic shaping implementations are crap, doesn't mean traffic shaping is necessarily evil. It's not hard to set quality of service rules such that BitTorrent traffic is allowed to use as much bandwidth as it likes, but it has a lower priority compared to other, more latency-sensitive protocols (web, text messaging, VOIP, etc.). It's a win-win for all customers using the same pipe. Non-torrent users get priority for their traffic, torrent users get the full measure of whatever bandwidth is left over.

That being said, there are a lot of really, really bad traffic shaping setups out there, whereby torrent traffic gets shaped right out of existence no matter what other traffic is running on the same pipe. It's painfully obvious that ISPs doing so are using shaping not to ensure good service for non-torrent users, but rather to ensure lower bandwidth bills for themselves. That kind of activity doesn't require a legislative solution, though. Bad ISPs [azureuswiki.com], who degrade their own service at their customers' expense, will naturally be at a disadvantage in the marketplace, and will suffer the consequences. I selected my current ISP in part because they don't appear on that list, and their primary local competitor does.

For everyone wondering about the hard numbers... (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849810)

...please note that the article said "significant" proportion. If the relative quantity is small in comparison to "illegitimate uses" [as defined by RIAA, I presume], it may still be significant, depending on the nature and influence of the "legitimate" data providers. The article mentions Hollywood studios and Blizzard, and discusses growing corporate use of Bittorrent. Point is, if enough moneyed interests are behind the technology, the ISPs will have to deal with a contentious issue if they're throttling the flow.

Just because TFA's summary is imprecise doesn't mean the point of the article is not valid.

The easy solution: (3, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849812)

Stop overselling your infrastructure by such ridiculous margins.

Maybe if you could actually deliver what you charge for (or only charge for what you can deliver), people wouldn't get so easily pissed about "degraded" service.
=Smidge=

Re:The easy solution: (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850504)

Nobody would want to go from "unlimited" service to a metered service where you have to watch how much you download as not to run up the bill. Seems like a step backward.

Weird definition of Neutrality (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849844)

All the net neutrality stuff I saw was aimed at keeping companies from discriminating based upon the source of traffic, not the type. What does it matter if you throttle or shape or prioritize bittorrent traffic (or traffic on any given port) so long as you apply it equally to all traffic in your network. The idea is to keep network operators from extorting some customers or degrading some service offered by a competitor. So long as they treat all bittorrent traffic the same how are they not being neutral?

Value added (4, Insightful)

overshoot (39700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849850)

Or (just a notion here) -- they could cache Torrent traffic and speed up the traffic for their customers while reducing their external traffic load.



All without doing anything squinky: just identify which torrents are hot, add one of their own. It's what BitTorrent does, after all.

Re:Value added (2, Interesting)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850272)

My (possibly completely incorrect) impression of the problem ISPs have with BitTorrent is that it uses a lot of upload bandwidth at the last mile. Caching the data won't really help with that.

As I understand it, most ISPs have tons of bandwidth within their own network, but have much less bandwidth on the last mile. Essentially the last mile might be a 50Mbsp down/10Mbps up link shared among 20 customers. (Like 57% of all statistics, those numbers were made up.) So they might sell the connection as a 6Mbps/1Mbsp asynchronous connection to all those customers based on the typical web surfing usage pattern, where it's unlikely that any given customer will be using all of the bandwidth they're allocated.

If, instead, all of those 20 customers are participating in a BitTorrent swarm, they're completely saturating that last mile, and none of them can get the bandwidth they were sold. Worse still, if a mere 10 customers are able to flood the line, then the remaining 10 might actually get no access at all.

In this case, caching the data won't help - the ISP can't send and receive the data from their hub down to the customer line in the first place. Caching it might reduce the load on their backbone, but, as I understand it, that's not where BitTorrent overloads the network in the first place.

I know I have to keep my BitTorrent upload throttled to something like 50% of my max upload speed, or I can't do anything else, as BitTorrent overwhelms my available upload. Caching on the other end wouldn't help with that - I'd still be uploading enough to the local cache to overwhelm my own connection.

beyond bittorent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17849874)

I buy bandwidth. You buy bandwidth.

I want to send and receive 0's and 1's. Any interference with this is imposing on my freedom to communicate.

We should all quit arguing about this and that. Keep the argument simple. Are we going to allow this for our future or not?

Here's an idea (3, Insightful)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849892)

How about before the ISPs even think of throttling down BitTorrent or any other type of traffic - they make even a casual effort to throttle back the 95% of email that is spam? If bandwidth is so precious that they need to consider slowing down one kind of traffic, why not start with the kind that is known to be illegitimate. Considering all the BS that is crammed into EULAs these days I think it would be actually reasonable to include a clause that says if your PC gets hijacked and zombied and is spewing garbage then we're going to cut you off until you fix it. The ISPs can certainly implement some algorithms to detect likely zombied computers, cut them off and redirect them to a page explaining the situation and common tools/resources to help fix their boxes, then the user clicks some link to get their connection reevaluated to regain net access. I'm in favor of net neutrality and no traffic throttling but I think the hypocracy of these ISPs should also be addressed. If half the money spent lobbying for net neutrality were spent tracking down spammers and helping users to identify and fix trojaned PCs then spam would be on the decline, not doubling every 3 months. Or here's an idea, how about using some of the no-doubt tens of millions of dollars that's about to be spent to change all the Cingular signs back to AT&T signs on fighting spam and botnets? But no, better to let the problem fester and the spammers grow richer and better armed (digitally) than let the company logos go un-revamped. Farking rediculous. [/rant]

Re:Here's an idea (4, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850082)

How about before the ISPs even think of throttling down BitTorrent or any other type of traffic - they make even a casual effort to throttle back the 95% of email that is spam?

Why? Spam doesn't take up a significantly large portion of internet traffic and is a lot harder to separate out of the mix, than bittorrent. Even zombies performing DDoS attacks don't generally make up much of the overall internet traffic, although the spikes they create are problematic.

In reality, a number of large network operators don't want network neutrality. They want the opportunity to offer services and make sure competitors are unable to compete. They want to shake down companies individually by threatening to degrade their service and not their competitor's. They care about money; no hypocrisy there.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850770)

Why? Spam doesn't take up a significantly large portion of internet traffic and is a lot harder to separate out of the mix,

I do realize that the amount of bandwidth for spam is much smaller than for bittorrent considering a lot of torrents are movies or large programs. However, I've seen some articles (and my spam folder contents) that indicate some spam is starting to move towards image-only in an attmept to get around filters, so there's a good chance spam bandwidth will increase. Also while it may be hard to seperate from the mix at the transport layer, it sure as hell is visible by the time it reaches the SMTP server, I have to imagine that there's going to be some cost savings (and headache reduction) in reducing the amount of filtering that has to be done to keep mail servers running. Plus spam is sometimes an indicator of a zombied computer, which can be used for other things besides just spamming, like DDOS attacks and propigating viruses - stuff that may not be a problem immediately, but could certainly cause trouble if/when thousands of zombie systems are commanded to do something nastier than hawk viagra and penny stocks. Probably better to start to erradicate the problem than to wait and see if it gets worse.

They want to shake down companies individually by threatening to degrade their service and not their competitor's. They care about money; no hypocrisy there.
Well, that is the hypocracy isn't it? Because the major networks that don't want net neutrality aren't telling congress and the public at large that they're doing it for cash and to crush competition, they're cloaking it in other reasons. That's why they're being hypocritical. We (the tech-informed) know the real reasons, but mom and pop americans don't and what they're hearing is almost the opposite of what the networks are actually going to do.

It's a benefit to them (1)

esobofh (138133) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849940)

Simple - one can easily draw up a case for the benefits of distributed downloading for service providers - distribution of traffic is always a good thing, and if it's for this one protocol, rules are easily assembled on how to distribute that traffic to capitalize on the distribution to an even greater extent. One simply needs to assign a dollar amount to the savings or efficiences gained to garner acceptance.

Cache? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17849952)

I suppose one way for an ISP to reduce traffic outside of its network, would be to create a cache which hosts the more popular ligit downloads, which would adjust according to the varying demand. The only question: how to tell the difference between legitimate content and illigitimate content?

Re:Cache? (1)

Diss Champ (934796) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850702)

As long as the ISP is acting as a common carrier, they don't need to determine the legitmacy of content. If they simply identify caching based on popularity, they're in good shape. If they start trying to tell the difference between someone downloading the latest Ubuntu and someone downloading next week's episode of 24, that's when they have to start worrying about liability if they screw up their identification scheme.

this might be a little offtopic (-1, Offtopic)

fakechuser (1058638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850056)

\\142.179.145.108\SharedDocs\

anonymous read-write access allowed over the internet.
please upload midget porn & delete password files.

thanks.

frist sto!p.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17850086)

rapid,

Bandwidth Limiting (1)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850106)

In my humble opinion, the ISP's claim to provide you with a certain speed and bandwidth for downloads and a certain speed and bandwidth for uploads. If you're paying for bandwidth (which you are) you deserve to have that bandwidth available.

We've been footing the bill since the dawn of the Internet and for them to limit our bandwidth as if their job involves somehow ensuring that _we as internet users_ don't break the law - is totally ludicrous.

There should be a law in effect that says NO ISP can sell bandwidth past a very specific ratio of what THEY THEMSELVES pay for and have available. Right now there are actually dial-up providers out there that offer ultra, ultra cheap internet access but you can't get it because their phone lines are always busy and ONCE YOU DO get on, they've split a relatively high-speed connection across so many damned people you can't even get a full 56k download - and we all know that's totally ridiculous.

If ISP's had to ENSURE bandwidth past their own networks was sufficient for what they were selling off - these questions would *never* be raised.

speaking of never being raised. [douginadress.]

Allocation strategies for ISPs: do Torrents lose? (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850114)

If bandwidth is scarce, how should an ISP allocate it?

1. For pay -- the more the customer pays, the faster the service
2. For cost -- the more costly the customer, the slower the service
3. For QOS -- the more time-critical the service/customer, the faster the service
4. "Fairness" -- equal bandwidth to everyone (throttle the hogs)

I suspect that Torrents lose with all four strategies.

Or maybe... (0)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850154)

they should stop giving the Execs bonuses larger than many people's salaries and buy some of that dark fiber so they can handle the traffic?

Encrypted torrent traffic (1)

Gunark (227527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850182)

I was under the impression that torrent throttling was a dead issue, now that torrent encryption is in mainstream use. It certainly is a dead issue for me, where Rogers Cable's (big canadian ISP) throttling no longer affects me in any way.

I do work occasionally for some local isp's (3, Informative)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850248)

I commonly do work for some local isp's to throttle and even block bit torrent clients on their networks. Just a couple of bit torrent clients on the network can just about saturate the connections. The ISP take on it is rather simple, first of all serving content either via web server or p2p client is against usage policies. We attempt to block a user first and give him a call and tell him why, the second violation of the usage policy is suspension. The ASP does not care if they loose that user because the cases are few and far in between. Profit margins on the connections are razor thin anyhow loosing one of these users means increased profits not lost profits.

Skynet (2, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850348)

Oh come on, people.. first we allow Ma Bell to recombine like the T-1000 and now we stand idly by as she starts a neural network? Will nobody think of the children? On the playground? With the.. big.. mushroom thingy?

Got it wrong (2, Informative)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850464)

Net Neutrality is not about the type of traffic, its about the source of the traffic. They can still refuse to let you run servers on your residential line (peer to peer makes your machine a server). And they can disrupt your attempts to violate the contract by throttling BitTorrent if they so desire.

A Significant Portion Legit (1)

lupine_stalker (1000459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17850682)

"Will ISPs still be able to throttle BitTorrent traffic now that a significant proportion of it is legit? /quote I think someone is under-estimating the sheer amount of pr0n available on the net.
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