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FCC Complaint Filed Over Comcast P2P Blocking

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the hard-to-keep-up-with-the-annoyance-factor dept.

The Internet 178

Enter Sandvine writes "A handful of consumer groups have filed a complaint with the FCC over Comcast's "delaying" some BitTorrent traffic. The complaint seeks fines of $195,000 for each Comcast subscriber affected by the traffic blocking as well as a permanent injunction barring the ISP from blocking P2P traffic. '"Comcast's defense is bogus," said Free Press policy director Ben Scott. "The FCC needs to take immediate action to put an end to this harmful practice. Comcast's blatant and deceptive BitTorrent blocking is exactly the type of problem advocates warned would occur without Net Neutrality laws.""

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Comcast's defense is bogus (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21202115)

However, I am engaging in self-righteous infringement/theft.

finnaly, comcast will get fucked in the ass (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21203367)

I download linux iso's daily, and legal torrents all day long. This type of bandwithing hogging is fucking cocksucking bullshit.

First off before I even get to the throttling, we are the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and we lag so behind in other countries in bandwith speed, and comcast has literally done NOTHING in their long term plan to provide more bandwith speed. They are milking their shitty lines for every Americans last penny. Its corporate greed at its finest. Big brother setting his hand in there to make sure im not taking up to much bandwith that I PAY FOR and limiting my legal torrents download speed.

EAT A DICK

Re:finnaly, comcast will get fucked in the ass (0)

Vipersfate (1143119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203411)

well fucking said! it's nice to see that I'm not the only one that thinks this!

Re:finnaly, comcast will get fucked in the ass (2, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203939)

I download linux iso's daily, and legal torrents all day long.

You are one of the high use people Comcast would love to drop. You use the resources of about 200 regular customers.

comcast has literally done NOTHING in their long term plan to provide more bandwith speed.
They want users who use no bandwidth when they are not directly between the chair and keyboard. They want users who pull a page ore email and stop to read it. They hate 24/7 saturated connections and will be glad to be rid of you.

Re:finnaly, comcast will get fucked in the ass (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204105)

And is this an okay thing to you? Because it isn't to me. Or a lot of people.

Re:finnaly, comcast will get fucked in the ass (2, Interesting)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204287)

Agreed. It isn't okay if they're selling me an "UNLIMITED" plan then decide what the hell I can do with it. I've said for years that all these "content access providers" (sorry, they're not INTERNET service providers anymore) just need to stop with their crap. Where is the ISP that allows me unfettered, high speed access to the internet. Not to web pages. Not to their "media portal" or whatever. I don't need my CSP's e-mail servers, 10mb of webspace, I don't need them to manage and maintain a website that has the 'latest videos' and news. All this crap has to drive up costs somewhere.

Where is that ISP? No where - because of the regional monopolies. Its _crap_! My representatives don't understand it either. The two senators sent back boilerplate responses about how they appreciate the letter, etc. My rep. sent me a letter that was so far technologically off base it shouldn't even count.

Re:finnaly, comcast will get fucked in the ass (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204501)

And I hope you replied to your rep. a letter explaining what and why it is wrong. Preferably calmer then you post here.

kudos on sending a letter. More people should. More precisely, more people with MY views should. ;)

Re:finnaly, comcast will get fucked in the ass (2, Informative)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204731)

Agreed. It isn't okay if they're selling me an "UNLIMITED" plan then decide what the hell I can do with it. I've said for years that all these "content access providers" (sorry, they're not INTERNET service providers anymore) just need to stop with their crap. Where is the ISP that allows me unfettered, high speed access to the internet.

They made a mistake and offered the plan knowing in the day the typical usage of users. When high bandwidth P-P invaded the network and high bandwidth continued after the user left the chair in front of the keyboard, the drain on resources was like having unlimited (un metered) water to the house (I have had that) and decided to never shut off any water in the house at any time. As a bonus, I decide to add a fountain in the pond in the yard and leave it run. If we all did that with our unlimited plans, there would quickly be a shortage and the supplier will be by soon looking to plug a few leaks.

Re:finnaly, comcast will get fucked in the ass (2, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204607)

And is this an okay thing to you? Because it isn't to me. Or a lot of people.

Actually yes. Before the flame war starts, remember that bandwidth just like any resource is a commodity with an expense. This is the tragedy of the commons.

Supporting the mega bandwidth users prevents me from obtaining a $20/month plan. 2/3ds of my bill is to pay for the commons pool of bandwidth, not the surfing I do on Slashdot.

If everyone demanded and got and used saturated feeds 24/7, then the typical bill would need to be close to $600/month to provide the service. This is not alright with me. The compromise is either toss off the high usage customers (hidden cap), throttle after a certain amount (check Australia throttling), or go from an unlimited plan to a usage base plan just like cell phones. Pick one. Unlimited for all and growing demand is not going to cut it at current rates.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandwidth_cap [wikipedia.org]
http://www.news.com/2100-1034_3-5079624.html [news.com]

The overgrazing of the commons by the few is why fences are being erected to protect the commons from degrading. Now there is still a green patch when I arrive. The other option is per use pricing, or raising the price for all to expand the supply of the commons to meet demand.

Pick one...
Higher prices for all
Dropping high bandwidth users
Capping users monthly bandwidth
Throttling the one application which uses 2/3's of the system bandwidth

Eliminating the last one as an option will require one of the other ones to be used, otherwise the overgrazing of the commons by the few 24/7 torrent users will overuse the bandwidth requiring the purchase of more bandwidth. Guess who will get the bill. It's #1 on the list.

Peer to peer is growing. More computers are now using lots of bandwidth when there is no user planted in the chair in front of the keyboard. The ISP's are noticing the added expense for bandwidth and must do something. Do you have a suggestion? Supporting the growing load without adjusting service plans is not an option for remaining in business. ISP's know simply tripling the price for everyone is not going to cut it.

Re:finnaly, comcast will get fucked in the ass (2, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204713)

My suggestion is that they deliver what they advertise. That would suit me. It's too late [gornall.net] for Comcast now, at least for me, though. I was never a heavy user of P2P, but I was pissed off about losing iChat...

Simon

"Tragedy of the commons" ??? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21204835)

Gah - you know when someone pulls out that phrase, you will soon see idiocy camouflaged with high-falutin' language.

The poster is correct - bandwidth is not an unlimited commodity, since there is no such thing as an unlimited commodity. Comcast, etc, attempted to pretend that it was in their advertising campaign by promising the impossible -- unlimited bandwidth. In a sane world, they contractually obligated themselves to bankruptcy by their fraud, hoping that the price in bandwidth costs would always outpace bandwidth usage growth, instead of actually advertising what limitations they could afford.

And now we get all kinds of sophistry to defend them. Obviously, you have to have some form of bandwidth cap. You could do it by total bandwidth monthly or weekly, you could degrade bulk services at high demand (and state it openly in your terms) or you could drop high-bandwidth users (and state it openly in your terms).

But they're the ones who have f*cked up, and want to have their cake and eat it too. They're the ones who still have "Unlimited Bandwidth!!!" ads at the malls still today.

This is no tragedy of the commons. There's no abuse because contractual obligations are lacking and oversight is limited to traditional norms. This is a case of explicit contractual obligations that are clearly delineated, where "property rights" are quite obvious, where private entities aren't sharing but are trading. It's just that one of those entities is much larger than the rest of the partners, and that entity is simply trying to defraud their partners by promising what they can't deliver.

Libertarian language is just so Orwellian.

Re:"Tragedy of the commons" ??? (0, Troll)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204943)

Comcast, etc, attempted to pretend that it was in their advertising campaign by promising the impossible -- unlimited bandwidth. In a sane world, they contractually obligated themselves to bankruptcy

I don't want to go back to dial-up. Do you have a suggestion besides bankruptcy or the $300 or more a month option?

I gave several suggestions. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205813)

Nice false dichotomy there - dial-up or $300 or more a month option. For God's sake, a T1 cost $300 bucks a month for business users years ago with reliability guarantees.

All Comcast has to do is actually sit back and calculate what they can actually afford to sell for a given price and then tier it. Or use QOS to throttle the bigger hogs during periods of high demand (who gives a crap about the bt users in Indiana at 3 am?).

And if they go bankrupt, we still won't go "back to dial-up". There'll be plenty of companies ready to buy up their cable lines and try again. Maybe with a lesson learned...

How is it that universities don't get killed by the hogs on their lines, with much wider guarantees on their system? And at less than $300 a month - usually $50 or so a lab. How are prices structured throughout the world to handle higher demands in Europe and developed Asia?

Don't sell what you can't afford. For the market to work, the customer's have to have adequate knowledge, the product has to be broken up into small enough quantities, and the customer's have to have real choice between vendors. Otherwise you get exactly these kinds of Comcastic decisions by vendors to focus primarily on marketing, and only secondarily on the economic and engineering realities of provisioning.

Re:"Tragedy of the commons" ??? (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205007)

You got it on the nail, Comcast doesn't want to advertise bandwidth caps for the same reason dialups stopped selling hourly allotments, customers don't know how much bandwidth they need and would rather go for unlimited and cut out the hassle. Comcast saw what they needed to do to sign up the most customers. But as you said before, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

you left out/forgot the best option (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205441)

How about a boatload of telco execs and isp bosses sitting in front of a senate hearing explaining what they did with the 200 billion dollars [newnetworks.com] they got in upped usage fees and so on during the last decade to build out the infrastructure? Where'd all that money go? From that link "In exchange for building these networks, the Bell companies ALL received changes in state laws that gave these them excessive profits, tax savings, and other perks to be used in building these networks."

Let's stop dumping on ourselves for trying to use what was promised and never built. We got GOUGED and ripped off and they bribed off enough people in government to make the whole thing just disappear, just like the two TRILLION dollars that disappeared in the defense budget that hit the news on September TENTH 2001, never to be heard from again since that amazingly coincidental "terrorist attack" that happened on the eleventh, the next frikkin day.. 200 billion is not chump change, and 2 trillion is simply an astounding figure, that pays for a lot of improved infrastructure that could handle much higher demand. Two trillion could pay for a huge national alternative energy infrastructure roll out. We got outright blatantly stolen from by a small handful of very wealthy people, and for some reason the media and government seem to just ignore it for the most part. Nope, their fault for being greedy crooks, their fault we have rank internet connections compared to many other nations, and that we are still the perpetual debt servitude for life chattel of the oil and defense (really is offense any more, slimy blood profiteers) armaments industries. They flat out stole our modern communications and energy infrastructure to pay off already wealthy wall street globalists.

Re:finnaly, comcast will get fucked in the ass (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204573)

Actually they'd prefer people paying them and not using the net at all. :)

The music and movie industry is saved! (5, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202125)

Think of all the DVDs and CDs those BitTorrent users will buy with $195,000 !!!

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (5, Informative)

KnightED (805081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202257)

There are many more things then illegal files that this is in use for in particular World of Warcraft Patching among some others. I Can only imagine more Businesses starting to use this to deliver their content as fast as possible.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (1)

facon12 (1128949) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202467)

The bittorrent website actually has you choose whether you are a business or a personal interest when accessing their site. I know personally i get all my linux stuff through bit torrent. The look at this technology as something only used for piracy would definitely be doing the technology a disservice.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (1)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202665)

It doesn't have to be illegal for Comcast to hate it -- remember that they have to pay some pennies for that pesky, pesky upstream traffic. Poor dears.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203947)

Actually, I think the way the Internet is tiered is that the end that makes the request pays. So that pesky upstream traffic is saving Comcast money. It's the downstream traffic that they're paying through the nose for. What should Comcast do, then? Prioritize traffic so that you get better data rates downloading from other hosts within the Comcast network and pushing content out.

Unfortunately, DSL and cable modem service is set up exactly the opposite way. Under the assumption that people will do more downloading than uploading, the bandwidth is divided unevenly between download and upload. This is, of course, an arbitrary choice---there's no reason they couldn't use nine channels up and one channel down instead of the other way around (or whatever)---but that is the way things are structured currently, and this should be taken into consideration.

Of course, what we really need is to move towards communication schemes similar to RADSL, in which the data rates in each direction can be adjusted to maximize throughput... but go one step farther and make it adaptive according to the mode of utilization (which AFAIK RADSL is not).

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205343)

Actually I think that Comcast's connection to the "Internet" is based on the bandwidth without regard to the direction, Comcast's big problem is cable TV network is heavily weighted for the download with slight mounts allocated for upload and more and more applications are moving towards more symmetry. I'm on comcast Hi-speed and I'm not noticing problems except with Bit-torrent, but my wife has been having a lot of problems with her games from pogo.com. These aren't FPS games either but mostly interactive board games with a chat window, hi latency would be tolerable but when we get a forged [RST] packet the game client actually locks up, most annoying.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (2, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204003)

and yet strangely, they don't have to pay as much for downstream traffic.. Seems it would be more efficient to re-route the trackers to look to local clients on their network.. IE, if I want to download ubuntu, I would consider it a benefit if they pointed me to someone else on their network that was seeding, or further along downloading, as I could finish it faster.. And they wouldn't have duplicated traffic coming through their gateway pipes.

They could have manipulated things in a way that would be a win for all, but they chose to do it in a way that was a win for them.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (1)

Cameroon (16395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202673)

They absolutely are - there are companies out there (some with a recognizable big yellow character) that want to be able to leverage BitTorrent delivery methods.

Lanham act & Bittorrent.com (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203023)

I think that Bittorrent.com & Blizzard could persue a lanham act complaint against Comcast for this one. Comcast is deliberately interfering with Bittorrents legitimate business - distributing rental movies over bittorrent, and WOW updates. The point being that lanham reparations can be percentages of the offending companies gross profits ... doesn't take a big percentage of Comcast to make a big payoff for Bittorrent or Blizzard.

If Comcast were doing what they say they are doing, then they would actually be OK. It's the deliberate forging of headers on the terminate packets that's going to get them in trouble.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205923)

Don't forget that this is the same thing that has been causing problems with Google for a lot of us who are stuck on comcast's crap service.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (5, Funny)

Andrew Nagy (985144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202457)

Huh? I'm still trying to figure out how Comcast was blatant and deceptive.

Wait, wait, I got it. They are so dumb, they failed at being deceptive and ended up being blatant! What kind of a world do we live in when a multi-million dollar evil corporation can't even be counted on to lie properly?!?

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (0)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202905)

I think it's more of the "kid with hands in the cookie jar" type of blatant and deceptive.

Parent: "Are you stealing cookies?"
Child: "No, I'd never do that!"
Parent (pulling childs hand out of cookie jar, revealing a hand covered with melted chocolate bits): "Then why is your hand in the cookie jar?"
Child: "It wasn't!"
Parent: "And why are there crumbs all over your shirt and your face?"
Child: "There aren't!"
Parent: "Really?"
Child: "Of course! You know I'd never disobey you!"
Parent: "So your hands are smeared with chocolate, your mouth isn't covered with crumbs, and cookie jar that was full when I left isn't now half-empty?"
Child: "Sounds right!"

Although in the case of Comcast, it's not like the people in the "parent" role can do anything, and Comcast gets to continue providing Comcastic [urbandictionary.com] service. ("Why are you blocking BitTorrent?" "We're not!" "But I can see you sending RST packets!" "I can't see any!" "I've got a log right here!" "Your client is just pining for the fjords!" etc.)

And I think there's also a Senator Craig [wikipedia.org] joke in there somewhere.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21203719)

Woosh!

It was a joke, moron.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (1)

Stormie (708) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205469)

I'm still trying to figure out how Comcast was blatant and deceptive.

It's deceptive to software - the forged packets cause BitTorrent et al to drop connections.

It's blatant to human observers.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (1)

Mouthless Wolf (1153783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202513)

HA HA HA, OH WOW.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (1)

isotope23 (210590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203075)

I was using comcast to distribute Ron Paul material (made by volunteers) during this time. I dropped Comcast as soon as it became apparent they were delaying torrents.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21203817)

It should be damages as 195,000 per packet slowed by comcast.

Re:The music and movie industry is saved! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205405)

The fact is, Comcast is blocking a lot more than p2p traffic. for example, my ssh logins to my remote servers get reset between 5-15 minutes after I log in. These connections use to stay open for days.

Sometimes, Comcast decided to block my access to sites like gmail, or even Google. These blocks are all REST packages that comcast is spoofing (I can't prove it with google, but google has no reason to "the remote server reset the connection"). I can prove they are doing it to my ssh connections because neither I nor my server are sending the REST packages that each receives.

If this works, we don't need net neutrality laws (5, Insightful)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202129)

If the FCC takes effective action on this complaint, then they are effectively mandating net neutrality as part of their remit, so no law would be needed.

Re:If this works, we don't need net neutrality law (4, Informative)

blueskies (525815) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202255)

This has less to do with Net neutrality and more to do with not spoofing (fraudulent) packets. You can still shape traffic, you just can't fraudulently send packets to people.

Re:If this works, we don't need net neutrality law (0, Flamebait)

drwav (577314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202327)

Traffic shaping is ALSO bad because they will just "shape" your traffic to near-zero. They call it Quality of Service but the only thing it will be used for is to REDUCE the quality of your service.

Re:If this works, we don't need net neutrality law (2)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202355)

You know they aren't too concerned with QoS because they would shape *all* your bandwidth instead of just torrent traffic if you are using "too much," whatever that means. I say if I pay for X amount of bandwidth DAMN YOU if you say I can't use it all.

Re:If this works, we don't need net neutrality law (3, Informative)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205629)

They aren't just hitting bit-torrent, anything that has a lot of upload traffic gets reset; even FTP can be flaky during prime-time because it does a lot of handshaking. The wife's board games from pogo.com are even getting hit in the cross fire so we're not only not getting the bandwidth we're paying for, they are interfering with sites we have paid subscriptions with!

Re:If this works, we don't need net neutrality law (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21202791)

I think the people that do have a valid case is people not on Comcast receiving fake packets from Comcast. Comcast can pretend that they have the right to send fake packets on there own network, but to send them to other networks? I don't think so.

It is technically a D.O.S. attack against people not even on there network.

Re:If this works, we don't need net neutrality law (1)

Twanfox (185252) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203427)

I would think that, unless the endpoint of the conversation is one of Comcast's servers, like a proxy relay, that forging packets as coming from an external source is just as bad as sending those same packets out to an external source. They're forging packets, plain and simple. I don't think it matters to whom they're sent.

Re:If this works, we don't need net neutrality law (1)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202991)

That's essentially what I had to say in the letter I just sent to the FCC about this, that IP spoofing and DoS attacks are prosecutable offenses in any other case, and how is this really all that different?

Re:If this works, we don't need net neutrality law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21203175)

The logic should be if you don't treat all traffic the same, you aren't a common carrier and you are responsible for child porn on your network. Seems like an ok carrot and stick alternative for the 4 American ISPs to me.

Re:If this works, we don't need net neutrality law (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203619)

That's a pretty big IF there...

My Moneys On No Fine (2, Insightful)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202145)

Comcast getting fined is the kind of thing that needs to happen. Normally I'm against FCC fines, Howard Stern gets fined for saying the same thing Oprah does. Here, like Oprah I doubt the FCC will pursue this.

Wish It Were Going Down in NY Courts (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202165)

Now, I'm not a lawyer but I believe they are escalating this too far too fast.

"Comcast's blatant and deceptive BitTorrent blocking is exactly the type of problem advocates warned would occur without Net Neutrality laws."
Now why would you go and bring that into this? If this is because your end goal is to have Net Neutrality laws, then you're starting from the wrong point. I think what just happened there is this turned from "Discriminating Against Customers Based on Their Needs & Rights" to a political hot topic that has been raging for the past four or so years. And another reason you may want to distance yourself from that (if you want to win this case) is that currently, there are no Federal Laws. So now you have all the politicians (who so far have decided amongst themselves that these laws are unnecessary) watching you, I wonder how the Federal Communications Commission is going to rule on this?

Now, with that said, there is one option that could be taken now that Net Neutrality has been brought into this.

I see from the PDF that the people filing this complaint are from Washington, DC. It probably should have been filed in New York with the demands specifying only NY victims for the time being. Why might you ask NY? Well, it's the only state to have established net neutrality as a telecommunications standard (See 16 NYCRR Part 605) [wikipedia.org] . And this case is exactly the definition of what those standards are put in place to protect!

So while it may have had to be filed with the FCC, the real place where you could pretty much guaranty a (maybe even court case) win against Comcast is in the state of New York. I know they provide service there [usdirect.com] and I think it would be more prudent to first prove your point there, then file a complaint to the FCC from New York after the local government has awarded the victims there.

In my opinion, a guaranteed sure win in a small battle is bigger than a huge uncertainty in the overall war.

Remove their common carrier status (0, Offtopic)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202265)

What the FCC *ought* to do is say:

"OK, Comcast: you've decided you are going to pick and choose what traffic you want to carry. Fine - it's your equipment, it's your call, do what you want.

HOWEVER: since you've appointed yourselves the arbiter of what your system will carry, you are no longer a common carrier and you are no longer afforded the protections of a common carrier.

Have a nice day - oh, and BTW: Here's all the items over which we will be bringing enforcement action, since you are no longer a common carrier...."

Re:Remove their common carrier status (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21202411)

They aren't a common carrier now, so unfortunately there's nothing to revoke. Telcos have this classification but ISPs do not.

Re:Remove their common carrier status (5, Insightful)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202531)

HOWEVER: since you've appointed yourselves the arbiter of what your system will carry, you are no longer a common carrier and you are no longer afforded the protections of a common carrier.

Someone says this on every single article relating to traffic shaping, QoS, or filtering. Somehow this one even got a +5 Insightful (at one point), despite being based on an invalid premise. ISPs are not common carriers. The line-level divisions of the telecommunications companies are common carriers. The divisions relating to actual Internet service, and other non-telco ISPs like Comcast, are "information carriers" (or some such label) and not subject to common-carrier regulations. The ISPs don't want to be common carriers; they're much better off as they are. You can't threaten them with withdrawing a regulatory status they never had and never wanted.

Re:Remove their common carrier status (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204833)

Never mind that they might as well be common carriers. Bits is bits, and mine have to traverse at least two major carriers' lines to get here.

Common carrier status does NOT require legislation (2, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205803)

ISPs are not common carriers.

Wrong.

Common carrier status does NOT require explicit legislation. It is a creature of common law. Explicit legislation may codify the details of the obligations and immunities of a PARTICULAR type of common carrier, rather than leaving it to judges and precedent. But it isn't necessary to create such a state.

An ISP may be or may not be a common carrier, depending on its behavior:

  - If it accepts all comers on equal terms it's a common carrier. Making no choices it is not obligated to make choices or responsible for those choices. In particular: its customers are responsible for the legality and results of their actions while using the service.

  - If it picks and choses, it's not a common carrier. By making choices it becomes responsible for the choices and acquires an obligation to continue to make choices. In particular: If its customers use its service to commit a crime or a tort, the carrier becomes an accessory and/or co-conspirator.

(In Comcast's case there's the additional element of fraud: They could easily have gotten away with traffic shaping. But forging RST packets to disrupt undesired connections is not part of the the protocol specifications that define "internet service".)

Re:Remove their common carrier status (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21202563)

It doesn't matter, ISPs have never been common carrier... or at least so I've heard CONSTANTLY... I have no idea why they are treated like common carriers and aren't liable for anything, anyone want to shed some light on THAT?

Why do some geeks have such a hard time with law? (3, Insightful)

ClayJar (126217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202637)

Every time something like this comes up, there is a cacophony of geekdom crying out tripe about "common carrier" status without any understanding about what those words *mean*.

Do we not ridicule politicians who make laws based on their completely boneheaded ideas about what technology means ("tubes", anyone?)? Do we not loathe judges who rule in favor of the "MAFIAA" due to their complete lack of even elementary comprehension of what is involved in, say, *watching* a DVD? Do we not scoff at the astonishingly anemic attempts to create engaging television and movie plots out of programming and information security? Do we not groan inwardly (and some of us, outwardly) when a reporter tarnishes the good name that was "hacker"?

If we're going to claim to be anything better than those who speak from ignorance, let us cease with the "common carrier" whine until such point as we know what it *means*!

It is acceptable to give a big Skywalkerian whine about the "system" that lets a huge corporation own separately regulated subsidiaries, with some being "telecommunications services" subject to "common carrier" laws and others being "information services" not included in "common carrier" laws. (Whining to elected officials may not be any more productive, but then again, it would be the proper venue.) On the other hand, whining here while not even bothering to know what you're whining about? That makes you ignorant, and if the trend I pointed out above is any indicator, we don't abide ignorance here.

(Guess I should've used the rant markup, but I couldn't remember whether it was supposed to be SGML, XML, OOpsXML, or what, so it likely wouldn't validate even if I did.)

Correction (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204449)

"...we don't abide ignorance in others."
All fixed. ;)

late night troubles (1)

cyberworm (710231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202269)

I'm not sure if this is relevant or not. I use Giganews (a company that comcast sub-contracts out for usenet access) for poking around on usenet. They have a 10 concurrent connection limit on downloads etc. The problem is, that if I use all ten of them at the speeds I should be allowed, my modem kills itself. I occasionally use bittorrent and have never achieved the speeds that would make bt stand out as a network resource hog.

I'm curious, are RST's the reason I have to get up and reset my cable modem late at night during file transfers? If so, then it's not just bt suffering. It's anyone doing any kind of high speed (as in maxing out your connection) transfers. I used to think that it was just Giganews sending data too fast and effectively DoS'ing my connection but news like this makes me wonder. Has anyone else had a similar experience with comcast and giganews/highspeed transfers?

Re:late night troubles (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202371)

No, RSTs are a normal part of network operation, they're not going to crash your modem. It just sounds like you have a crappy modem.

why your modem dies.. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202793)

it's a news server, and it's maxing your downstream to the point your modem is gasping for air trying to maintain the communication necessary to remain on the comcast network.

if your newsreader has it, set a global maximum downstream to about 30k under what is normally possible. the problems should fix themselves.

Re:late night troubles (1)

FreyarHunter (760978) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203207)

I have issues usually arrising around 0200 local on my Comcast connection. This makes playing Halo 3, America's Army, or even web-browsing impossible at this time. This has mainly been due to a packet-drop rate that is extremely unacceptable on a local node out here that they have failed to fix. So much for ensuring good service for the money paid. "Naw, go ahead, put it in your pocket, CC, it's okay."

Re:late night troubles (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203835)

Your down is probably one of two things: freaking out a fritzy modem, OR (more likely in my experience) it's choking your Linksys cable/dsl NAT router. I used to have huge problems with my Linksys WRT56G's after long downloads at high speeds (even, sadly, with the DD-WRT 3rd-party firmware). I went over to a D-link gaming router and I haven't had to touch it for months unless I change DHCP reservations or something of the sort.

bittorrents shaky legal ground (5, Interesting)

fenodyree (802102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202283)

While I applaud this effort to hold Comcast accountable and hopes it works, it is going to be an uphill battle to defend bittorrent, given the current status of P2P in the courts, and media's eyes.
It seems the more prudent approach would be to use the blocking of Google traffic, as Google is loved by the media and has been helpful to the courts on a few occasions, to file the complaint, and then rely upon the Google decision to defend torrent traffic. Much like the "tame" playboy defends the more hardcore free "speech"

Go defenders of Neutrality!
Screw Comcast and get Gmail notifier to work again!

Re:bittorrents shaky legal ground (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21202497)

Bit Torrent is not on shaky legal ground. Bit Torrent is not like napster, morpheus, kazaa, or limewire. It's not a program/network package. Bit Torrent is more like a protocol. The Bit Torrent method has no more affiliation with (or responsibility to) p2p sites offering links to illegal torrents than HTTP or IP does.

This is like saying public highways are on shaky legal ground because people smuggle drugs across them.

Re:bittorrents shaky legal ground (4, Insightful)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203223)

shaky legal ground? "tame" playboy?

I think you either have that wrong or you need to clarify.

Bittorrent is not on shaky legal ground, it is a valid peer to peer file transfer protocol which is used for legal purposes. I've transfered many gigs of bits in downloading and sharing Fedora and Ubuntu linux distros, I've also used it to download commercial game demos such as Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. By your logic the entire internet is on shaky legal ground because all sorts of illegal activities traverse the backbone, does that mean we should shut down the entire internet?

And I'd hardly call Larry Flynt a "tame" playboy. (happy birthday Larry) And I'd also go further and say that the work Larry has done to protect his own free speech for works that many find distasteful has protected the free speech of others who have something much less morally questionable to communicate than the magazines Larry publishes. I believe that was the basis of Larry's arguements, if his free speech is restricted then where does it stop, do we restrict people from pointing out fraud and questionable deeds of governments and corporations. His objective was not to ensure there was free speech for something hardcore even though it would be protected as well, his objective was to protect free speech, period.

Re:bittorrents shaky legal ground (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204379)

There are a lot of legitimate sites and companies that use it.
Blizzard springs to mind as one of the bigger ones.

Re:bittorrents shaky legal ground (1)

syukton (256348) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205437)

Bittorrent is a valid distribution method for a variety of high-volume distributables. A significant number of Linux distributions for example, are distributed via bittorrent. World of Warcraft also uses Bittorrent to ease the load on their patch servers. Individual/independent films are frequently released and distributed with Bittorrent, saving indie producers from having to partner with a distributor or high-bandwidth hosting facility in order to get their movie seen. There are enough "legitimate" uses of P2P protocols that a judge or jury could be legitimately swayed if it were just a matter of the legitimacy of P2P.

Consider for a moment that Comcast is indiscriminately interrupting these file transfers. They aren't trying to prevent piracy, they're trying to prevent all communication of a certain type to/from certain locations at certain times of day.

What Comcast is doing is akin to the traffic lights that some states put at freeway onramps, to limit congestion on major highways during certain times of day. During high-demand hours (like when people are getting home from work) Comcast wants to ensure a fruitful and productive user experience (reading the news, checking email, etc), and this is most easily accomplished when the network in a high-density area (like an apartment complex or group of complexes) is not saturated with P2P traffic. Comcast has good intentions, but their methods are extremely suspect. I'm not clear on whether or not they are using a simple traffic light paradigm, treating all traffic the same and controlling all high-bandwidth consumption transfers in the same fashion, or if they're discriminating by port number or some other means.

Given the trouble I've seen mentioned regarding Google, I'm inclined to believe that they're trying to limit all high-bandwidth consumption transfers. Not only is this not about piracy, it's not just about bittorrent or other P2P networks. They could accomplish similar goals (normalizing bandwidth usage and ensuring a consistently positive user experience) by using simple traffic shaping, but then their "6 megabit" advertised speed wouldn't really be accurate. It'd be a "6 megabit off-peak" speed, and that doesn't really bring in subscribers. They DO seem to be going about things in a fairly nefarious and sneaky manner, but is "TCP/IP standards compliance" part of their user contract? Do they guarantee to abide by the standards laid out in RFC 793? "Internet connection" is a fairly ambiguous term; what does having an internet connection guarantee? An IP address and one hop of upstream connectivity? More?

It's questionable whether or not Comcast is doing anything they aren't legally allowed to do.

Quality-of-Service configuration (4, Informative)

E. Edward Grey (815075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202291)

It's actually a pretty common thing within some networks to create some classes of TCP traffic and cause them to drop a packet. It causes the TCP session window to shrink by half, so now each side has to tighten up their acknowledgment window. It's called Random Early Detection. TCP is very resilient traffic, so this has very little impact on most networks (although I'd be very careful about using it within an ISP network).

However, this seems to be clearly stepping above that, and performing what is essentially source address spoofing, regardless of the whether or not there is congestion on the network. I don't know if you can really classify this as a QoS technique.

Re:Quality-of-Service configuration (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21203461)

Random Early Detection only drops packets. It does not create new ones.

$195,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21202347)

WTF? Damn litigious bastards, even if they're pretending to take "our" side.

Re:$195,000? (2, Informative)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202431)

In fines not damages.

Goodbye Comcast (1, Flamebait)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202417)

Based on how poorly Comcast treats its customers in sending them threatening emails and staggering their internet traffic, they are most likely scaring away many current and possible future customers.
There are plenty of competitors to choose from that don't treat their customers like criminals.

So goodbye Comcast, and good luck!

Re:Goodbye Comcast (1)

Darby (84953) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202627)

Based on how poorly Comcast treats its customers in sending them threatening emails

I've been a Comcast customer for like 5 years and I don't think they even know an email address for me unless it's a Comcast address they made up for me in which case I'd have no idea how to receive it, so the joke's on them ;-)

Re:Goodbye Comcast (1)

Xlipse (669697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202657)

Yep.

I work in IT and just yesterday I prevented a Crapcast (It's CRAPTASTIC!) sale by explaining their shady business practices. I have since switched back to DSL myself. At least it's a REAL Internet connection. If I wanted what Crapcast is providing now, I would have signed up with AOL.

(that last part was a joke!)

Re:Goodbye Comcast (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204783)

Some sunny day, you geeks are going to realize that this clever wordplay isn't nearly as funny as you think it is. You know all those times you're in a group of people and you make a joke and you laugh and everyone just kinda looks at you? Yeah, stuff like "crapcast" is what does it.

No, there aren't competitors. (1)

jrronimo (978486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202937)

There are plenty of competitors to choose from that don't treat their customers like criminals.
Here in Boulder(esque), Colorado, there are NOT 'plenty of competitors'. Comcast is the only supplier I know of offering 6+ Mbit speeds. Your other option is Qwest's 1.5 Mbit DSL. There's Copowi, but again, 1.5 Mbit for the same price of my 8 Mbit Cable.

I would GLADLY take my service elsewhere and leave a flaming bag on Comcast's doorstep. But where could I go? Comcast is the only ISP offering speeds that don't suck.

Dear Verizon, 20 Mbit SDSL, guaranteed customer. Where's your service?

Re:Goodbye Comcast - In my dreams. (1)

computersareevil (244846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202981)

I don't have a choice. It's Craptastic! or nothing where I live in suburbia. No DSL, no fiber, no wireless, no kidding. Verizon has no interest in adding another DSLAM any closer to me either. Where's this competition you speak of?

Re:Goodbye Comcast (1)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203065)

I wish I had a choice, there are no other broadband providers for where I live, I'd have to move to get Surewest or DSL from anybody. :-/

Re:Goodbye Comcast (1)

FreyarHunter (760978) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203257)

Oh please. In my area that can't be farther from the truth. The next-closes level of download speeds is a DSL line. I'm sorry, but in a lot of places, ComCast has a monopoly. Interesting, has anyone considered an anti-trust suit?

Re:Goodbye Comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205585)

Many of us do not have the luxury of changing providers. I can get SDLS (YES, SDLS) at 128K/128K for $100/month, or comcrap's 16Mb/2Mb for $90/month. And the SDLS is not guaranteed since I am so far from a CO.

Until Verizon (and what a shity company THAT is) comes in with FIOS, there is no competition where I live.

Bring Them Down Hard (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202465)

Bring Comcast down quick enough, hard enough, and everyone else will be much less likely to try this crap again.

And lying about it is the worst part!

The complaint uses wrong diction, too close to QOS (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202633)

They should have made their complaint more clear cut from the common industry practice of QOS.

spoofing packets to intentionally interrupt a connection is very different of course, but the way they present it, using the term "degrading", is not specific enough.

"interrupting" is more accurate, and more egregious.

Comcast will likely use the long time case of QOS to weasel out of it, harming the credibility of an honestly legitimate gripe.

If they can't weasel out of it, this could put QOS in danger, resulting in terrible performance of voip, streaming video, vpn, online gaming, and other latency sensitive applications.

In their justifiable zealotry they did not put their complaint through the proper egghead QA channels, and not only may the entire net neutrality cause may suffer for it, but even a "win" may ultimately be a harm.

Re:The complaint uses wrong diction, too close to (1)

Fatal67 (244371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204097)

You are correct, this is a very very poor case to try to get a favorable ruling on.

For starters, the facts do not support a net neutrality argument. They aren't singling out Bit torrent and letting other p2p through unharmed. They are applying a protocol level solution.

Customers on the Comcast network are able to download their share of free linux distros and WoW patches to their hearts content. What they are not allowed to do is turn their home pc in to a server to allow non-comcast customers to download from them, at least not for 10 minutes anyway. So, if a Comcast customer is the only person seeding something and you are not a Comcast customer, you will be able to get it from them, eventually. A Comcast customer can still upload to another Comcast customer without an issue.

The whole RST issue really isn't an issue. The Sandvine could just as easily kill the connection request and not return anything at all. Sending the rst closes the connection on your side freeing up resources. This is standard network equipment behavior of firewall type equipment, is it not? Your connection is not getting through until it decides to allow it, whether it sends an rst or not.

I'm not saying there is nothing we can do, but any ruling based on this case will surely have very negative impacts.

A victory saying you can not prioritize traffic of any kind based on protocol, would be bad.

A victory saying network traffic cannot respond to packets that aren;t destined for itself would be beyond belief.

What is the ruling we are hoping for from this case?

Re:The complaint uses wrong diction, too close to (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204199)

their case is aweful, but don't defend their practice.

QOS packet shaping is one thing, but DDoSing someone's bit torrent connection is another.

If anything they should be filing class action for violation of anti-hacking laws.

Re:The complaint uses wrong diction, too close to (1)

Fatal67 (244371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205045)

I am not defending it in any manner.

I am just questioning the logic behind this particular suit as there really isn't a 'satisfactory' ruling to be had.

Re:The complaint uses wrong diction, too close to (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204477)

Why don't you do QOS on your own end, as I do on mine. Comcast should just push packets.

XBox live might be important to you, skype might be important to me, vpn might be important to wilma flintstone.

I don't want the ISP making those decisions at the application layer.

Now, if they want to push ICMP packets to the front of the line, and classify UDP differently, then go ahead and do it there. But don't decide for me which applications are "important" and which arent.

Besides, thanks to Web 2.0, everyone thinks is a hot shit brainiac idea to dump everything into an http request, so as that takes over, there will really be only one type of traffic on layer seven.

Does anybody think this will go anywhere? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21202675)

This will just encourage comcast to say, "You're right, here is what it costs us" and establish a new class of service and adjust ToS. Its no longer net neutrality if its not part of the package. Jumping from $60 - $600/month to have isn't worth it to me. Premium dedicated bandwidth is like $200 per Mbps for sustained traffic. How much is BT worth to you?

I expect this will go nowhere or just like everything else, comes back to bite the consumer.

Re:Does anybody think this will go anywhere? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202849)

Forging packets has nothing to do with whether or not your peak bandwidth is shared with other users.

Re:Does anybody think this will go anywhere? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202949)

of course but read TF complaint.

they use the term "degrade" when describing the activity.

the whole point of QOS is to "degrade" some types of network activity to tweak performance, so it follows either QOS becomes an affirmative defense or QOS, and therefore performance we've become accustomed to in certain applications, becomes endangered.

not a good outcome either way : /

Re:Does anybody think this will go anywhere? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203499)

QoS is preferable to forged RST packets. It's not as nice for the P2P file transfer as no QoS, but it's a lot better for the person making an emergency call over VoIP.

The upsetting thing for me isn't throttling certain traffic or even traffic shaping all of a customer's traffic during peak hours using a packet rate limiter. It's the method they're using. Sure, it'd be nice to have the whole pipe. However, I'd bet a lot of customers would like to be able to make a VoIP call and download something on BT at the same time in their own home without the VoIP call breaking up and sounding shitty. QoS can help achieve that if the BT would otherwise cause it.

Forging RST packets is dishonest, and it causes your network stack to do something entirely different from getting no response at all or having the traffic shaped. That's what pisses me off for these Comcast customers, and it'd piss me off more if AT&T was doing it to me.

Not just Comcast? (3, Interesting)

link-error (143838) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202923)


      I was downloading the latest Ubuntu distribution a couple of days ago using TimeWarner cable. The download went very fast, but I notice I wasn't seeding very may users, and the few that were had 5Kb speeds.

      After I finished downloading, I decided to let it run OVERNIGHT to reseed back to the world. When I checked in the morning, I had only updated 10MB and I noticed peers would pop-up in the window, show a few kb of transfer and then disappear again. I'm assuming that TimeWarner is sending dummy packets to the OTHER computers to stop my seeding.

      However, MY download didn't seem affected AT ALL. Also, there were several clients that seems to stay connected but with very low transfer rates.

Re:Not just Comcast? (2, Interesting)

phantomlord (38815) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203617)

I just grabbed the AMD64 Live DVD of gentoo last night off bittorrent with RoadRunner (Rochester, NY). It took about 90 minutes to snag and I sent about 75 megs of data in that time... usually seeding 3 people at a time, one around 5KBps and the other two grabbing somewhere between 15-30KBps each. The two faster ones held on for most of that session.

From what I've seen of Time Warner, a lot of decisions seem to be made at the local level (speed, whether they block port 25, how bitchy they are about you running personal servers, USENET policies up until last year when they ditched their local per franchise servers and went with a national contracted one, etc). If they are screwing with your BT transfers, it's likely a local franchise decision rather than a national company-wide policy.

Re:Not just Comcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21205347)

Also check here [azureuswiki.com] . Although Time Warner isn't on there and it's not totally up-to-date for many of the ISP's like Comcast apparently.

Should just use CoS instead (1)

AaronW (33736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203109)

I am a Comcast subscriber and I use Bittorrent to download Linux DVD ISOs and other legal content. My experience is that the performance of Bittorrent is abysmal, presumably due to their "delaying" method. Comcast should not be spoofing any packets.

I would have no problem with Comcast using CoS instead and just classify Bittorrent traffic as low-priority bulk transfers. This way it would get whatever bandwidth is left over yet prioritize more important traffic like games and VOIP. (In fact, this is how I have my firewall configured).

Everyone should ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203435)

... install and enable IPsec, even if they are not a Comcast vict^h^h^h^hcustomer.

What about other ISP's (1)

warrior_s (881715) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203641)

I live in a small town of blacksburg in a community served by some Shentel company (shentel.net). I am not sure if they are blocking p2p or throttling it but sometime I can't even connect to a host using gnutella. And if by chance it connects, it is almost impossible to download anything. Similarly bit-torrent speeds are near zero. As soon as I VPN to my school from my home, p2p connects and I get excellent bit torrent speeds. So, what can we do about ISP's like these? I am fed up with them but have no other option available.

Bell Sympatico joins the the fun (1)

bugmenotty (1174995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204617)

Bell Sympatico publically stated today that they are now throttling Bittorrent traffic during periods of congestion. Users are reporting being throttled to 30 KB/s. Non-throttled Bittorrent is quickly becoming scarce.

how is that different from all the others? (2, Informative)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204675)

There are many ISPs that block BitTorrent:

http://www.azureuswiki.com/index.php/Bad_ISPs [azureuswiki.com]

It seems odd to pick on only one of them.

Comcast made me lose Wheel of Fortune! (1)

dasunst3r (947970) | more than 6 years ago | (#21204853)

Comcast only sent me R-S-T, but not L-N-E for the hint on that final round. I think I deserve $195,000 as well.

This is going to suck for gaming (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205145)

I rather enjoyed having low ping times for my online games. Once the P2P floodgates are open, 1% of the users are going to slow the remaining 99% of everyone else down!

Don't block P2P, but put it on the bottom priority list.

greed (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205387)

no, I'm not talking about Comcast... the FCC is going to fine them $195,000 for each subscriber affected... of course the subscriber wont see any of that money, it will just go into the govt's pockets...

Jeez. (1)

xx01dk (191137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21205851)

Jeez, just how hardcore are you guys? I tend to d/l about 8 half-hour tv shows per week. Let's see, that's roughly 1.4gb. Just last week I d/l three game betas/demos, 1.4gb, 1.3gb, and 800mb. I'm up to about 5gb now in one week. And all throughout, I watched maybe a couple dozen tv shows courtesy of nbc.com, abc.com, and cbs.com but I don't know how much bandwidth that used. Oh, and the latest Ubuntu, though I haven't installed it yet. Plus all my teamspeak, ventrillo, and game traffic, plus my vonage, which the wife is on for several hours every other night. I'm guessing I topped out at about 6gb downloaded (maybe 1gb uploaded) just last week. Granted it was a banner week, but I bet I average about 1-3gb downloaded per week, with about half of that coming via BT.

And yet! My service rocks?! I'm still waiting for the first shoe to drop but the couple of times I've had to call Comcast, my problem has been resolved to my satisfaction. My BT download speeds haven't really changed from what they were a year ago and I haven't noticed my ping go up or down in my favorite game servers.

What are you guys doing different from me that are experiencing problems so I can maybe avoid the same? You know, like lessons learned?

I don't care if this is modded off topic, I'd like to know, seriously.
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