Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Vuze Petitions FCC To Restrict Traffic Throttling

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the keeping-the-tubes-clean dept.

The Internet 159

mrspin writes "Vuze, an online video application that uses the peer-to-peer protocol BitTorrent, has petitioned the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to restrict Internet traffic throttling by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Vuze has been keenly aware of Comcast and the "bandwidth shaping" issue. Vuze filed its "Petition for Rulemaking" (PDF) to urge the FCC to adopt regulations limiting Internet traffic throttling, a practice by which ISPs block or slow the speed at which Internet content, including video files, can be uploaded or downloaded. As readers may remember, back in May, Slashdot discussed the issue of packet shaping and how ISPs threaten to spoil online video."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Finally (5, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#21370703)

I'm glad to see that someone out there is willing to take on Comcast to put an end to this kind of garbage. They may be doing it to protect their product, but the end result is good no matter who you are. Bravo I say!

Re:Finally (4, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21370995)

but the end result is good no matter who you are. Bravo I say!

As much as Comcast sucks, it sounds like you're taking the position that the federal government should have the authority to regulate how networks work. I think that's awful, and endangers just about everyone.

Comcast should be bitchslapped (and probably at the state level) for fraud: they fail to supply what they lead prospective customers to believe they supply. And in states where there are laws against impersonation, that should be enforced as well (or else repealed).

But for feds to regulate-away throttling itself, is a nightmare. Networks need to be able to deal with congestion problems, even in cases where they are not overselling or otherwise engaged in fraud. Throttling large transfers to increase the performance of interactive stuff, is a perfectly sane (and fair) way to do it. FCC better keep out of this.

Also, remember we're talking about feds. Comcast's monopoly, AFAIK, is provided by local governments. That's who should be setting terms. Kicking it it so far up the hierarchy of government, just reduces The People's power in the decision.

Re:Finally (2, Insightful)

kcornia (152859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371175)

I think the general reasons for desiring government intervention are twofold. One, no one wants to wait around for all the telcos to get sued and dragged through ten years of civil litigation before a decision is reached. Two, and IANAL or a telco buy, but I think the government has these guys on a leash somewhat because we the taxpayers essentially paid for the creation of the network they're now charging for you, and that money was given based on them being common carriers. The reference to ATT trying to exclude calls to Montgomery county illustrates this perfectly. They are common carrier internet access providers. Deciding what content you're going to provide vs. not provide takes you out of common carrier, or so it's being alleged by many.

That's my understanding anyway, could be completely off base...

Re:Finally (2, Insightful)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371723)

Two, and IANAL or a telco buy [sic], but I think the government has these guys on a leash somewhat because we the taxpayers essentially paid for the creation of the network they're now charging for you [sic], and that money was given based on them being common carriers.

Comcast (the primary target here) is not a telco. It's trying to move into that market via VoIP, but it never received federal funds to do so; its network and equipment are privately funded and owned, and should remain so. Nationalizing the cable networks via regulation won't solve anything any more than doing the same with the telco's networks solved anything. The real culprits here are the local governments, and to some extent the states, due to their habit of handing out lucrative monopoly franchises and thus killing any possibility of intra-regional competition. Such merchantilist practices must be eliminated before any significant progress can be expected.

Re:Finally (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371239)

But for feds to regulate-away throttling itself, is a nightmare.
From what I saw they're only trying to "urge the FCC to adopt regulations limiting Internet traffic throttling," - not do away with it entirely. While I agree that federal control of networks is bad, I also don't see much else happening to bring Comcast to its senses. They ignore consumers (we all know what their "customer service" is like) and they fight like crazy to keep any competition out of their market. At this point I'm just happy to see someone having a go at making their life a little more difficult.

Fair trade (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371255)

The courts, Congress, or a federal agency has the following responsibilities:

  • Prevent fraudulent advertising
  • Prevent unfair trade - if you throttle traffic because of some justifiable reason like bandwidth utilization, you must throttle all traffic on equal terms including your own. If you offer phone or video services you cannot give them preferential treatment.
  • No discrimination based on the content of the data. A bit is a bit is a bit.
  • No discrimination based on the port or protocol without a valid technical reason. "SSH triggers a bug in our routers that crashes our network" is a valid if very embarrassing technical reason. "SSH lets people hide torrents and torrents are big" is not.

What the feds should NOT do:

  • Prevent shaping to enforce bandwidth-utilization. I may want to pay for a small bits-per-minute cap. My neighbor may want to pay for a higher cap.
  • Prevent shaping to offer quality-of-service tiers, provided that any data was eligible to travel on any tier if the customer wants to pay for it. I may want to pay for guaranteed low-latency and throughput of all traffic. My neighbor may want to pay for that service but only for traffic from YouTube.

Re:Fair trade (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372059)

Prevent shaping to offer quality-of-service tiers, provided that any data was eligible to travel on any tier if the customer wants to pay for it. I may want to pay for guaranteed low-latency and throughput of all traffic. My neighbor may want to pay for that service but only for traffic from YouTube.

I agreed with everything else you wrote, but I'm somewhat leery of this. Offering different tiers at the ISP level is all well and good -- nobody is suggesting that the 1,500 byte packet from the $29.95/mo residential customer should have priority over the 1,500 byte packet from the $500/mo business customer. In the ideal world they would also give priority to interactive traffic (ssh/telnet packets, ntp packets, TCP ACKs, gaming, voip, etc) regardless of what tier the customer is in, as such traffic tends not to consume very much bandwidth at all and the extra costs to them are nil.

It's when they start talking about having a end-to-end tier'ed internet that I start to have a serious problem with it. My ISP has the right, within reason, to ensure that everybody receives a fair slice of a limited (the last mile) resource. AT&T does not have the right (IMHO) to charge Google, Yahoo or Bob's website extra for the right of ensuring that their packets reach me in a timely manner.

All packets should be treated equally on the internet backbone. And, ideally, barring natural disasters/war/acts of god/equipment failures/etc, QoS on the internet backbone should be a moot point, because the backbone links shouldn't reach 100% utilization.

Re:Finally (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371395)



Actually, if the Feds don't regulate the net then it's the telcos and cablecos who will set policy -- and we can see just how well the whole "free market" foolishness works for everything else (how 'bout that Ivory Coast for example). The thing people seem to miss is the fact that free market means if I want your head for my hood ornament it's just a question of having the money. So while I do have qualms about gov't regulation in general it beats the heck out of the alternative.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21372409)

Actually, if the Feds don't regulate the net then it's the telcos and cablecos who will set policy

I have to agree with the GPP. The government already has an appropriate hammer. The crimes here are not throttling or traffic shaping. The crimes are 1) fraud (impersonating their customers for monetary gain) and 2) false advertising and/or breach of contract (deliberately failing to provide the service advertised and/or contracted). The 2nd is a civil issue and has to be resolved with a class action. The first is a felony and should be pursued at both the state and federal level.

The average consumer may not be the brightest star in the sky but collectively the market has a certain cunning. If they are not getting the best value for their money they will go to the alternative that does (and there is always an alternative). What Comcast has done (as, in fact all the cable companies have done) is used some technical wizardry to try to hide the fact that they have massively oversold the store. The game as they see it is to discourage the customers who want what they paid for while continuing to overcharge the customers who are paying for too much but getting just enough. The net effect is to create an imperfect market, one where the outsiders (their customers) cannot react to inequities in price/value because they are deliberately fed false reports by the insiders (think of it as stock fraud with your cable bill).

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21372527)

That said, it may also represent an abrogation of their status as a common carrier. There may be an opening here for Friends of Unplanned Pregnancy or the Crappy Content Association to go after them for not filtering out "Debbie Does Disney." If it can be proven that they were selecting for content (for example P2P traffic) then they aren't innocent bystanders but active participants if they chose not to use that filter to stop the exchange of kiddie porn, videos with music or plans for exploding shoes.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21372703)

Comcast and the other cable companies have also consistently opposed, to a criminal degree, any competition to their business plan. The only real competition the cable companies have are things they have literally no control over, satellite, phone lines etc.

Re:Finally (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372447)

Actually, if the Feds don't regulate the net then it's the telcos and cablecos who will set policy
You have way more influence over your city council and mayor, than over your congresscritter. If Comcast plays in a way that you don't like, your local government can say, "No monopoly for you."

Re:Finally (1)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371491)

Throttling large transfers to increase the performance of interactive stuff, is a perfectly sane (and fair) way to do it.

Perhaps in an earlier paradigm, but there's really a small distinction today between "interactive stuff" and "large transfers". If by the latter you mean file sharing, a lot of the former (e.g. voip, video, etc.) is also using the same p2p technology. In fact, since a lot of p2p traffic, be it interactive or downloading stuff, is encrypted anyway, it's going to be very hard to tell which is legitimately 'interactive' and which is just a large .avi download, i.e. which packets to shape.

It's one reason why these "Vuze" people might have a legitimate case against comcast -- it hurts their "business", whatever that might be.

Re:Finally (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371731)

Some friends asked me to burn a number of Linux LiveDVD's so they could compare the different releases. In a single afternoon I downloaded around 16 Gigabytes of data, along with using bittorrent to get the Fedora Core 8 LiveDVD (which didn't seem to be on a downloadable ISO file anywhere).

Re:Finally (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372227)

erhaps in an earlier paradigm, but there's really a small distinction today between "interactive stuff"

Umm, it's not really that hard. Here's some of my iptables rules:

Flag traffic from my T-Mobile UMA phone:
iptables -t mangle -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -s 172.25.42.100 -j TMOBILE

Flag TCP ACKs:
iptables -t mangle -A OUTPUT -o eth0 -m length --length 0:52 -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL ACK -j ACKS

Flag SSH and telnet (only small packets so to avoid giving priority to scp transfers):
iptables -t mangle -A OUTPUT -o eth0 -p tcp --sport 22:23 -m length --length 0:200 -j INTERACTIVE

Flag NTP:
iptables -t mangle -A OUTPUT -o eth0 -p udp --sport 123 -j INTERACTIVE
iptables -t mangle -A OUTPUT -o eth0 -p udp --dport 123 -j INTERACTIVE

Flag echos and echo-replies to ensure good ping times:
iptables -t mangle -A OUTPUT -o eth0 -p icmp --icmp-type echo-request -m length --length 0:128 -j INTERACTIVE
iptables -t mangle -A OUTPUT -o eth0 -p icmp --icmp-type echo-reply -m length -- length 0:128 -j INTERACTIVE

All those targets are custom chains that classify the packets with --set-class, but the reality is you could do whatever you want with them. There's also -t mangle POSTROUTING equivs for all of these rules, to classify traffic being forwarded from my LAN.

Now, I don't pretend that the above is a perfect solution. For one it would be open to abuse by somebody that went out of his way to make his bandwidth hogging application match my rules. But it would seem to me that a company with the resources of Comcast and access to routers that can do deep packet inspections could find a way to classify and prioritize most interactive traffic in a such way that wouldn't be disruptive to anyone.

It shouldn't be able throttling a bandwidth heavy application down -- it should be about giving priority to more important traffic. Do you really think a bittorrent user or web surfer is going to notice his download rate drop by 1kb/s because his neighbor is pounding away in that ssh session? He will notice if you rate-limit that one protocol down to some arbitrary number even though the network isn't maxed out.

Re:Finally (1)

rmerry72 (934528) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371503)

But for feds to regulate-away throttling itself, is a nightmare. Networks need to be able to deal with congestion problems, even in cases where they are not overselling or otherwise engaged in fraud. Throttling large transfers to increase the performance of interactive stuff, is a perfectly sane (and fair) way to do it.

Hate to use a car or "the internet is just tubes" analogy but there is a parallel with motorways, trains, and any heavily congested resource.

What if motorway companies started with a policy of refusing travel on the motorway for certain types of traffic during peak times? Say:

  • trucks only - as they pay three times what a car does?; or
  • Only cars with two passengers or more; or
  • No sports cars or motor bikes - your all criminals anyway; or
  • Only those travelling on legitamate company business - no personal travel

Yes, there are special lanes for some of these cases and they are particularly useful - but they are NOT BLOCKING traffic or sending traffic down a back street to a black hole, or forcing you to go down the "old back route". You've paid your toll and you get to use the road like everybody else for whatever is legal. It just takes longer - and for everybody!

Re:Finally (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371631)

As much as Comcast sucks, it sounds like you're taking the position that the federal government should have the authority to regulate how networks work.
Wouldn't that be called "net neutrality"?

Re:Finally (1)

Ogemaniac (841129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371795)

"Comcast should be bitchslapped (and probably at the state level) for fraud: they fail to supply what they lead prospective customers to believe they supply. And in states where there are laws against impersonation, that should be enforced as well (or else repealed)."

Can you point me to the fraudulent advertising? If you believe that subscribing to broadband means "maximum possible bandwith all of the time" then you are an idiot. No one pretends to offer that, and the big ol' words "up to" are in every add ever seen.

The network is yours. Re:Finally (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371967)

it sounds like you're taking the position that the federal government should have the authority to regulate how networks work. I think that's awful, and endangers just about everyone.

There is nothing new about government regulation of networks. Intentionally blocking competitors on networks is already against the law and has it's roots in common carriage laws that are a hundred years old.

Overall, I'm with you and think it would be great if networks were free. Everything will be cheaper and easier when there are no more broadcast monopolies and other anti-competitive regulations that restrict use of the airwaves or public servitude. Telcoms, broadcast and media companies would be bankrupt in less than a year and all of us would be that much richer. The current cable and wireless monopolies are not natural, they are protected by corruption.

Even in that world, the public nature of networks would require neutrality laws. Networks are public places that only have value when people use them. Without the public, they are worthless. Blocking competitors is worse than bad business, it's immoral and insults the public. The public should protect itself from that kind of criminal behavior the same way it protects itself from other acts of racketeering and vandalism.

Re:Finally (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372787)

The government should have no say at all about how the networks are run.

They should however restrict how ISPs can screw consumers.
Its a subtle difference. They wouldnt be setting network policies directly, only indirectly.

Save the Internet did this already. Re:Finally (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371841)

People who don't know Vuse should be familiar with the members of "Save the Internet" [slashdot.org] which launched a similar pettition two weeks ago. No one but ATT wants anything but a neutral network.

Someone with standing, ... maybe (2, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21370743)

A Comcast user isn't going to get much traction in trying to sue Comcast over services they were expecting and not receiving. I doubt Comcast has any more legal obligation to deliver "expected" service than Geico has to deliver "an English muffin with butter and jam" - in reference to their commercials.

Now this company might actually have some standing to say their product is being blocked. Unfortunately, I don't think anybody has Comcast (or others) over a barrel quite yet. Comcast never agreed to deliver this content, or any other specific content. What did they agree to deliver? Probably not much, and nothing specifically. You aren't guaranteed email, web browsing, VPN or any other service. They didn't define what services they are delivering, what quantities of these services or anything else.

I think the company already looked at suing Comcast and found out there isn't anything there. The only avenue would be rulemaking or legislation. Probably not much going to happen there either.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (4, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21370805)

Actually, the issue isn't blocking or throttling, it's sending packets telling you to disconnect from the sender, and these packets are constructed by comcast to look like they're coming from the peer you're downloading from. Since it's a fraudulent packet, they could get in trouble for that. I'm sure straight-up throttling would be less of an issue, although in that instance they're not living up to their speed claims on purpose. I guess the real problem is that Comcast promised more bandwidth than they could deliver, and now that customers are trying to use it, Comcast is in a bit of a bind.

I will say this about Comcast, they're a hell of a lot better than Cox.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (2, Insightful)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21370951)

I think this is a better way to attack this, someone who is hosting legal bittorrent files needs to step up and sue comcast for forgery. there is no reason why creating a fake packet with my mac and ip and sending it to someone to cause them to drop my connection should be legally treated any differently than making a fake check with my banks watermark and my signature and using it to get a teller to give you my money. this cognitive disconnect between how the internet and everything else are treated absolutely astounds me.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371455)

Easy. Damages. You've lost nothing by them blocking a bittorrent transfer. When real fraud occurs (i.e. fake check), then it matters.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (1)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371881)

canonical and or the people who run traditional mirrors of ubuntu have real losses because their bittorrent seeds are being dropped when one end is on comcast. this forces people to either forgo ubuntu where each download is potential future support revenue, or to use one of the mirrors which costs someone bandwith money. remember that those bigger connections often get charged based on bandwith usage to some level even if it is only on overages.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21372549)

Courts don't recognize what might have happened. Your not getting a $100.00 payment from someone can't be parlayed into a $1,000,000.00 payment in court because you could have bought a hot stock with that $100.00 early on. You're stuck collecting what you would get plus any statutory damages.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (1)

bdjacobson (1094909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371553)

I think this is a better way to attack this, someone who is hosting legal bittorrent files needs to step up and sue comcast for forgery. there is no reason why creating a fake packet with my mac and ip and sending it to someone to cause them to drop my connection should be legally treated any differently than making a fake check with my banks watermark and my signature and using it to get a teller to give you my money. this cognitive disconnect between how the internet and everything else are treated absolutely astounds me.
Most of the sort of people using bittorrent to host legal content do not have the resources to spend on a lawsuit. If they did they would probably just be hosting the content themselves. With a company like Blizzard, Comcast would have a bit much to lose so they would fight it, which would drive up the cost for Blizzard, and the shareholders would not approve. So Blizzard would just start hosting the content if worst came to worst rather than spend millions on a big lawsuit.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (1)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372015)

unfortunately I do understand those economics and it really saddens me. its an absolute shame that a major corporation could do something like this and yet there is no real way that they are going to get proper retribution. all because of money. I do intend to do my part by dropping their internet and tv the day fios is available in my neighborhood, but I know that the profit they make on one person is not even as big as a rounding error in their books. and I seriously doubt there is a huge fanbase of comcast fans on /. that I could be converting with my comments.

Someone with gimmee, ... maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21371221)

"Actually, the issue isn't blocking or throttling, it's sending packets telling you to disconnect from the sender, and these packets are constructed by comcast to look like they're coming from the peer you're downloading from. Since it's a fraudulent packet, they could get in trouble for that."

I don't think that argument will hold much water. It may not meet an RFC, but not following standards normally isn't fraud. I think the more important question for networks everywhere and customers is just how much can an ISP do to give an acceptable service to the majority without crossing any legal lines?

"I guess the real problem is that Comcast promised more bandwidth than they could deliver, and now that customers are trying to use it, Comcast is in a bit of a bind."

I disagree because the only promise exists in the mind of those who chose to be commons abusive. Comcasat didn't promise a constant "the whole pipe is yours to do with". It's a shared network and I expect anyone savy enough to use P2P to be aware of that. Not to mention the "running a server" issue.

Re:Someone with gimmee, ... maybe (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371471)

It may not meet an RFC, but not following standards normally isn't fraud.

Not following standards is not inherently fraud, but that does not mean you cannot commit fraud by intentionally breaking standards.

It may not meet an RFC, but not following standards normally isn't fraud.

Abuse is subjective in this case. If Comcast advertises unlimited use, 24/7 at a given rate and someone tries to actually use that rate 24/7 they are not being abusive, they're trying to get their money's worth.

Re:Someone with gimmee, ... maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21371689)

"If Comcast advertises unlimited use, 24/7 at a given rate and someone tries to actually use that rate 24/7 they are not being abusive, they're trying to get their money's worth."

Which once again goes back to my "it's all in your head" comment. Comcast didn't make such promises and even if they did? Anyone who has even a glimmer of technical knowledge (supposedly everyone on this forum) could tell you how impossible that is on a shared network.* I can only conclude that in the face of such a fact that those repeating it hope that constant usage will make it come true.

*Especially using a protocol like P2P.

Re:Someone with gimmee, ... maybe (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371791)

As lawsuits have shown, actual technical knowledge seems to be disregarded.

Frankly, if they're advertising 1.5M, I should see 1.5M. Not 256, not 512, not 56, and not 1.4. This is false advertising. If they have bandwidth problems, they should Advertize What They Have. This reminds me a lot of the EPA Estimated Mileage fiasco where they had to retune the numbers. Tell people what they get in REALITY. I'd rather have a guarenteed 256K than a 256K masquerading as a 1.5M

Re:Someone with gimmee, ... maybe (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371809)

Anyone who has even a glimmer of technical knowledge (supposedly everyone on this forum) could tell you how impossible that is on a shared network.

It is not the job of the consumer to second guess the promises advertised based upon whether or not it is possible. They could, indeed, guarantee traffic levels by customer using current technology. The consumer should not have to investigate how many people are on their same local net, nor should they be disconnected for trying to actually use the service as advertised. In case you didn't notice, Comcast sells to people who are not Slashdot readers and who do not have any expertise.

*Especially using a protocol like P2P.

Please note, P2P is not a protocol, it is a type of protocol. There are a large variety of them.

The issue isn't throttling... yet (3, Insightful)

KWTm (808824) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371309)

Actually, the issue isn't blocking or throttling, it's sending packets telling you to disconnect from the sender...
This has been repeated a number of times, and I recognize the truth in this, but you need to remember that the bigger picture is that an ISP is trying to change unilaterally how (and whether) it delivers traffic based on content.

If we all complain, "Comcast is sending RST packets!" and then eventually Comcast says, "Okay, fine, no more RST packets," and then goes on to do other forms of extreme traffic shaping, then what? No, we want to nip this in the bud: no ISP, Comcast or not, should be allowed to unilaterally decide, "Hey, we don't like this traffic, so I just won't carry it." or "This is for The Good Of The People to Prevent Piracy" (or "Prevent Undermining Our Glorious President" or whatever).

Moreover, people need to know the implications of traffic shaping / net neutrality / dearth of ISP competition. I was very frustrated about how BitTorrent has been marginalized as "something that only pirates would use". The more we show the lay public the many versatile uses for a protocol like BitTorrent (or any other protocol, really), the more we get a public response.

Re:The issue isn't throttling... yet (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371433)

I was very frustrated about how BitTorrent has been marginalized as "something that only pirates would use"
I think that we're seeing torrents going the way that encryption did: where at one time it was just the realm of geeks, criminals and spies, now it's used by everyone. Explicit use is still mostly limited to those three groups, but through ssl, wireless, and most vpns, encryption is a daily event for most people.

Likewise, bittorrent was once seen as the realm of pirates, linux geeks and pornographers. While this might still be the case for explicit use, more and more we're seeing it being used by WoW, music services, and automagic patchers. What kind of uproar would this turn into if we told comcast subscribers that their WoW patches are slow because of comcast blocking it?

The public doesn't want to know any more about net neutrality than they want to know about freedom of speech issues for video games. But if you put it in terms that affect them ("Good Lord, they're going to make it impossible to get Zuma!"), you'll get an uproar and enough pressure for comcast to cave.

Re:The issue isn't throttling... yet (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371583)

At the end of the day, it's their network. If you don't want your packets to ride their network, don't use their service. Do you care that they block Microsoft file sharing ports through their network? How about SBC/Yahoo DSL blocking port 25 outbound except to their internal mail servers? In the end, you can always go with a provider who will just give you pipe (Speakeasy), but it's going to cost you a premium (as it should).

Re:The issue isn't throttling... yet (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371857)

At the end of the day, it's their network.

Not if I'm paying for it -- then the part I'm paying for is mine. It's bullshit excuses like "it's their network/content/whatever" that makes sure that the people paying for it have no rights whatsoever, not even the right to get what they're paying for.

Re:The issue isn't throttling... yet (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371901)

You're paying for the use of their network. It's not yours. No part of it is yours. When you rent a car, you pay for it's use. It. is. not. yours.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371629)

Since it's a fraudulent packet, they could get in trouble for that.

A fraudulent packet? What is a fraudulent packet? Packets, including their IP addresses, are modified in all sorts of ways by routers and software to work the TCP/IP protocol for all sorts of purposes. Are these all fraudulent packets? Or is the problem only that it's an undesired packet? Shall we pass federal legislation outlawing the transmission of any packets that aren't desired by the owner of the endpoint address? A lot of /. posters would be in violation of that law!

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21372123)

Oh fuck off. It's a spoofed packet. That's illegal for me to do, that's illegal for them to do. Remove face from asshole before opening mouth.

They're doing more than the articles say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21371961)

I'm on Comcast and my bittorent files keep finishing and then failing the checksum and restarting the bad blocks, over and over.

I think Comcast may be actually changing the content of packets as well.

Re:They're doing more than the articles say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21372565)

Bad ram, bad disk, or bad firewall (spi, ports). Good luck.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (2, Interesting)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21370813)

Of course, there are the upload/download rates you are supposed to get. Otherwise, why pay for 10Mbps when they can just give you 1bps. It is a clear cut case of fraud. You pay for one thing and get another. If it's not one speed for every protocol, it's not any speed at all: it's simply their whim.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (1)

phantomlord (38815) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372231)

You aren't paying for 10Mbps. You're paying for a theoretical maximum of 10Mbps, likely with no minimum guaranteed service. If you want a full, unthrottled 10Mbps connection to the internet, look into a pair of T2s. I can guarantee that you'll be paying more than $40/month though.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (3, Informative)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 6 years ago | (#21370845)

They didn't define what services they are delivering, what quantities of these services or anything else.

Isn't it precisely the FCC's role to step in and say, "By being a telecom company offering a product labeled as Internet access, you must provide the following:..."

ATT couldn't get away with saying that calls to Montgomery county aren't included in phone service, Comcast shouldn't be able to get away with saying bit torrent isn't included in internet service.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (1)

bagboy (630125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371243)

Internet delivery is a non-regulated service - no matter if you are a telecom or not. Most telecom companies have a separate sub-company that deals with non-regulated services, such as internet or voip. Therefore they "MUST" provide nothing more than an access port and other ancillary services as part of your contract (ie, email accounts, dns, etc...) just like you don't have to buy service from them.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21372153)

ISP's have every right to throttle, limit, block traffic as they so desire. As either a method of protecting their user base or ensuring a quality of service.

If this craziness makes it so far as for the FED to step in and try and regulate the internet and prohibit companies like Comcast from protecting their services; does this mean I have to remove my ICMP rate-shaping on my global network? That's throttling. Am I going to be sued for universally blocking protocol 0, or src/dst port 0? Is a hacker going to sue me because he wants to attack his buddy and I am denying him the right to send tcp packets of length 404 with a dst port of 1434, aka sql slammer?

With any internet protocol it was most likely a good idea when it was born. Later it's abused and measures must be taken. I still miss the echo / datetime ports but thanks to their abuse they are long gone. Peer-to-peer is a great technology. Don't blame the ISP's for throttling torrents slowing your favorite WOW download, blame the folks who use peer-to-peer to flood the internet with massive amounts of pirated-software related traffic.

The only argument I could see as legitimate in this area would be of Comcast throttled Vonage traffic to drive more customers to their voip product. There is no justifiable reason to throttle voip as it's not wasted, pirate, traffic so therefore throttling just Vonage would be an overt act.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (2, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371139)

Now this company might actually have some standing to say their product is being blocked.

Think about the grander scheme though. Vuze comes out discussing Comcast having, essentially, hampered the service for all users of the service. Remember, Comcast isn't throttling the bandwidth, they're shaping packets to drop connections on both ends of the pipe...Comcast customers and non-Comcast customers. If someone that participated in a service with, oh...let's say 9.3 million subscribers with each individual being able to prove that Comcast is likely to be impairing their ability to use a service provided by a third party... Vuze probably isn't suing because they don't have the revenue to sustain a lawsuit. Other companies do.

It would be in Comcast's best interest to stop now. Since that's not likely, it'll be interesting to see what some intelligent lobbying and/or lawyering can get done.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371515)

Comcast will simply come out and say "Hey, we gave you users a chance. Now, we throttle Australian-ISP style". You'll get unlimited Internet. It'll just be at 6-8Mbps in short bursts, and the rest throttled down to 256kbps.

It comes down to people wanting champagne internet connectivity on a beer budget. Want 10Mbps up and down? Pay for a real internet connection.

Re:Someone with standing, ... maybe (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371169)

If Gieco sold their insurance with "unlimited English muffins with butter and jam" , they damn well better provide all the muffins and jam I want. Even if it is more then what they want to give away.

Authority (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21370747)

Does the FCC have the authority to restrict throttling? I thought wired communications, like cable TV, were largely out of their control?

Tell 'Em (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21370755)

You can have my bandwidth when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21370819)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
goatse throttling reportedly not a problem [goatse.ch]

Universities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21370875)

How would something like this affect universities which act as ISPs for significant portions of their student population? I remember fondly the days of so much P2P traffic on the network that it became completely saturated and unusable.

Is anyone else amused... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21370919)

that this company thinks that this company thinks that removing P2P throttling will help streaming video?

And yes, I did RTFA and saw that they're delivering streaming media via the bittorent protocol. I say it's they're own damn fault for using a protocol which is well known for huge bandwidth use and no latency requirements to deliver media with critical latency requirements. If you don't want the ISPs messing with your video stream try not making your video stream look like a file download.

Re:Is anyone else amused... (2, Insightful)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371213)

The question is more along the lines of 'why should it be fine for them to mess with file downloads but not streaming video?'

Re:Is anyone else amused... (1)

logicpaw (868693) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371727)

The question is more along the lines of 'why should it be fine for them to mess with file downloads but not streaming video?'

They're businesses. They probably figured out how to extract more profits from video watchers on average at a lower infrastructure cost (maybe customer retention plus video advertising revenues versus symmetric provisioning costs, or some such...)

Re:Is anyone else amused... (1)

kcornia (152859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371227)

How about the telcos not worry about being an arbiter of what traffic is ok and what traffic isn't. The latency argument is a red herring. Internet providers, let the law worry about copyright infringement and quit using it to cover the fact that you've oversold your bandwidth now that more than a minority of your customers want to use everything you guaranteed.

Re:Is anyone else amused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21371275)

No, the copyright infringement argument is a red herring. You honestly think that ISPs care that people are downloading music and videos illegally? The only reason that the ISPs care is because P2P uses up 60-80% of their entire bandwidth and uses so much bandwidth that it causes problems for other uses of that bandwidth. The ISPs exist to serve those who want to watch streaming video or play online games, too, and they can't serve those people unless they can keep latency(and thus congestion) under control.

Re:Is anyone else amused... (1)

kcornia (152859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372269)

I didn't say P2P, I said traffic. They sold me 5MBs of bandwidth. Not 5MBs of bandwidth except for bittorrent. They're trying to change the contract after the fact by adding the asterisk and trying to use the smokescreen of "bittorrent is bad because pirates use it" to cover up the fact that they oversold their goods, AGAIN (remember this problem when cable modem first came out and they oversold in many neighborhoods, causing it to be slower than dial up during peak hours?).

Re:Is anyone else amused... (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371697)

that this company thinks that this company thinks that removing P2P throttling will help streaming video?

And yes, I did RTFA and saw that they're delivering streaming media via the bittorent protocol. I say it's they're own damn fault for using a protocol which is well known for huge bandwidth use and no latency requirements to deliver media with critical latency requirements. If you don't want the ISPs messing with your video stream try not making your video stream look like a file download.
Actually some numbers of companies managed to do such P2P sharing for streaming audiow/video years ago and they are still doing it. It didn't break down anything and in fact actualy helped ISPs since a truely popular live Radio would have to hit 3-4 very high bandwidth IPs and distributed locally.

For example Octoshape is endorsed/used by Deutsche Welle TV, EBU
http://www.octoshape.com/about/octoshape.asp [octoshape.com]

I am all for actual, pure UDP streaming with auto fallback such as Quicktime, Real but... People choose to download/stream(!) over HTTP.

Who is Vuze? Well... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21370945)

Vuze would be the Azureus [sourceforge.net] guys.

Now remove the tag that prominently displays your inability to use Google, you apes.

Re:Who is Vuze? Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21371091)

I use Ask Jeaves, you insensitive clod!

Re:Who is Vuze? Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21371315)

Ask Jeaves? No wonder you don't know who Vuze is.

I Agree in Theory but Not In Practice (2, Insightful)

jdjbuffalo (318589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371079)

Vuze is correct in thinking that protocols and the Internet connections as a whole shouldn't be throttled, in theory, however in practice ISPs are limited in how much available bandwidth they have. As much as I don't like it, there is often a requirement that ISPs throttle some of the more bandwidth intensive protocols so that everyone on their network can have an enjoyable Internet experience.

Now, ideally, I think that the ISPs should be actively lighting up lots of new fiber between each other (peering) and lines out of their DSLAMs and Headends but it does take time and as we all know, since they are profit driven, they need to be making lots of money to keep their investors happy.

Lastly, there is a difference between throttling (normal for most ISPs) and what Comcast is doing, actively blocking/sabotage. Comcast deserves to get smacked down hard for what they are doing.

Here's one (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371131)

don't sell bandwidth you can't supply... what's that, it would be more expensive? awww shucks.
TFB.

Re:Here's one (1)

Burdell (228580) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371593)

Do you really want to pay $400+/month for a 3 meg guaranteed-bandwidth DSL? I just got a quote for a high-speed link from a "top tier" backbone provider. I can get high-quality backbone bandwidth for about $30/meg/month, but then it costs about the same for the loop to carry that bandwidth to my network facility. Customers expect ISPs to have network redundancy, so to sell that 3 meg DSL I have to pay $360/month for 3 meg of Internet bandwidth to two backbones. I also have to pay the telco for the DSL loop, somewhere between $15 and $40 (depending on speed, location, and telco). Oh yeah, and I have to buy routers, servers, spares, and pay support/maintenance costs for all of the above. It'd also be good to pay the employees, and there's not much incentive to sell this if I don't at least make a small amount of profit on each customer.

Even if you oversell the redundant Internet connection to 100%, you are looking at over $200 in fixed costs per customer to guarantee 3 meg (not including the ISP infrastructure, employees, and any profit).

Re:I Agree in Theory but Not In Practice (3, Interesting)

Chirs (87576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371145)

"As much as I don't like it, there is often a requirement that ISPs throttle some of the more bandwidth intensive protocols so that everyone on their network can have an enjoyable Internet experience."

I know...how about they just make people pay for the bandwidth they use?

They could offer X GB/month packages, where bigger X means bigger monthly fees. They could even get fancy and say that traffic between the hours of 1am and 7am doesn't count, or counts less.

There are all sorts of ways for them to ensure they don't lose money while still giving unfettered access.

Re:I Agree in Theory but Not In Practice (3, Interesting)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371185)

there is often a requirement that ISPs throttle some of the more bandwidth intensive protocols so that everyone on their network can have an enjoyable Internet experience.

No; ISPs could throttle the bandwidth-hogging customers while remaining ignorant of protocols.

Re:I Agree in Theory but Not In Practice (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371545)

Amen. I would pay Comcast extra to do this.

Re:I Agree in Theory but Not In Practice (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371231)

Vuze is correct in thinking that protocols and the Internet connections as a whole shouldn't be throttled, in theory, however in practice ISPs are limited in how much available bandwidth they have.

This practice is countered by the ISP's willingness to advertize bandwidth WELL in excess of what they have. Perhaps ISPs should just use real numbers, not mythical ones some marketing genius picked out of a hat.

It's the same with airlines and overbooking. It should just be illegal to sell more than you can reasonably provide.

Re:I Agree in Theory but Not In Practice (1)

jdjbuffalo (318589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371531)

I agree that they should be held more accountable for actually providing the service that they purport to have. I would be fine with reigning them in just so long as we all don't end up going from being able to get 15 mbps most of the time to 3 mbps all the time.

Re:I Agree in Theory but Not In Practice (3, Interesting)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371311)

It's definitely an imperfect solution to a complicated problem. As a previous poster put it:

Also, remember we're talking about feds. Comcast's monopoly, AFAIK, is provided by local governments. That's who should be setting terms. Kicking it it so far up the hierarchy of government, just reduces The People's power in the decision.


The root issue here is the 'last mile' problem. A bunch of competing cable and phone providers would result a mass and tangle of wire going everywhere. A government enforced monopoly (which is what we have) is not much better, but it's more aesthetic. What we really need is a proliferation of secure wireless based services, much like how satellite TV competes with cable TV. Unfortunately, consumer grade satellite internet has horrible latency and other problems. I think the answer is some type of cellular or mesh solution. Some companies use long range wifi and other directional antenna based systems, and mesh networks are pretty awesome if you can get enough people to participate. There also needs to be enough competition among all of these services to foster innovation. So more than one wireless provider for any given service area.

Again we run up against the FCC, which allocates wireless frequency spectrums here in the US. There is a lot of artificial and real scarcity - with the most innovation happening on the unlicensed bands (2.4ghz and it's multiple 5.8 ghz).

Internet connectivity (fiber optic) as a public utility is interesting - but only if it is done on a local level. Anything bigger than that, say, statewide, is bound to become mismanaged and horrible. (just think of the DMV...)

Comcast is just trying to protect its bandwidth, but as the parent poster mentions, the way they are doing is potentially dubious.

Also, to correct a misnomer from another post, their principal purpose is not to -stream- video via torrent (although they are now experimenting with that using their internal player) but to allow downloads of very large video files that people then watch locally.

I am a Vuze / Azureus user and so far this is the only good solution I've found for hosting my legal original HD videos on the web short of running a legal torrent server myself, which wouldn't get as much exposure. Vuze has also set up a system where you can sell downloadable video content for a price if you wish, a boon to indepdendent video producers.

Some things that they have done recently have been aggrivating (re-compressing files to a semi-proprietary format) but on the whole they have the right idea. And they are the textbook example of a company that is the most hurt by bandwidth throttling if it is done to an extreme as Comcast is doing (completely denying a download session)

Unlike Comcast itself, Vuze provides an outlet for speciality video producers to get their stuff out there.

Re:I Agree in Theory but Not In Practice (2, Insightful)

Kazrath (822492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371373)

I really do not like the available bandwidth argument. 15 years ago there was no home based broadband and the argument was still being made that there was not enough bandwidth. A decade ago AOL lost a HUGE suit over it.

These companies are holding a monopoly and raking in the cash. If you take into account just the internet sector has something like 13 million subscribers that 650 million gross a month. Their cable TV pretty much uses the same bandwidth also. Why are they not investing their huge profits into infrastructure to improve their maximum bandwidth. The technology is already avaialable so there is no valid excuse. If you increase your bandwidth to a point that it is impossible to saturate it then the issues will go away. Basically if everyone can download High Def content faster than you can play it the network cannot be saturated.

Re:I Agree in Theory but Not In Practice (1)

jdjbuffalo (318589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371705)

I agree that is what they should be doing; buildouts to the point of never having to worry about saturating their lines.

We should definitely be pushing hard to have them do this despite the large capital expenditures. The thing is this kind of investment only happens with the correct prodding. The way this happens in a Capitalist-like society (we're not true Capitalists) is by having lots of companies competing in an area for business. There are only a handful of these areas in the country because of local monopolies on wiring and competition. In those areas, like New York, where you have two cable companies, Verizon FiOS and others there is a lot of options. This ensures that the customer should, in theory at least, be getting what's advertised because if they don't they will jump ship. And since companies often times want to be better than their competition they will always be trying to show their service is better (in this case by increasing speeds and delivering on those promises).

What I'm getting at is that if we fix the problem by making sure there is lots of competition then the bandwidth problem is likely to be a lot less of a issue or possibly go away completely . Until we address this on at least a state, if not federal, level then we won't see much serious change.

Re:I Agree in Theory but Not In Practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21371607)

If they didn't spend all that damn money on catchy ads, they'd have the bandwidth! (Or at least if it's reinvested in infrastructure and not executive/upper management paychecks.)

One Thing leads to Another (3, Insightful)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371141)

(1) FCC gets petition to prohibit bandwidth throttling
(2) all bandwidth is "unthrottled"
(3) all (at least US-based) ISPs have lack-of-bandwidth issues
(4a) all ISPs revoke any claim to "unlimited bandwidth" in a revised agreement notice upon which you have no say, and begin charging per-kb.
(4b) all ISPs actually perform the service upgrades for which they were already paid years ago.

Methinks that if 1 leads to 2, then it leads to 4a. 4b is there just for giggles. They'll never actually do that, of course.

Re:One Thing leads to Another (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371405)

I doubt 3'll happen without 4b happening first...

What is an ISP?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21371153)

Definition of an ISP is cloudy at best. Who would be exempt and who wouldn't be exempt?If comcast isn't exempt the could easily create a proxy company or use one between them and who they peer with to do the traffic shaping.

Tag system (2, Insightful)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371157)

Completely off-topic, but what the deuce is going on with tags lately? To the adjectives absurdly long, meaningless, and obscure, now we can add obscene.

Re:Tag system (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371655)

Completely off-topic, but what the deuce is going on with tags lately? To the adjectives absurdly long, meaningless, and obscure, now we can add obscene.

You got a fuckin' problem with that? :)

</Bronx>

Re:Tag system (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371759)

I think I did the neccesary feedback via turning them off. It is turned off at

http://slashdot.org/users.pl?op=edittags [slashdot.org] (must be logged in of course).

I think if enough (99%) turns them off, CmdrTaco would remove that junk "Web 2.0" feature. There are some serious offensive tags I saw especially personal attacks to not-so-loved authors. Now marking every Anti Apple story as "FUD" is something, personal attacks are much more serious things which would degrade image of Slashdot and may even create legal trouble.

Re:Tag system (1)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372019)

Completely off-topic, but what the deuce is going on with tags lately? To the adjectives absurdly long, meaningless, and obscure, now we can add obscene.
In case anyone is wondering what Vuze actually is (based on the obscene tag, I guess a few are), this is a company started by the developers of Azureus, the popular Bittorent client on Sourceforge. It's basically a new version of Azureus that hides all of the "technical" bittorent junk behind a media player interface. I think they're trying to make money off of it somehow.

How should get what bandwidth/priority (3, Interesting)

pcause (209643) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371163)

The truth is that all ISPs rely on the fact that if they are selling 5Mbps t 10 people they don't have to have 50Mbps of available backbone. They assume that web applications are using the connections intermittently or that if you have a long running connection it doesn't matter if it slows down from time to time. If everyone on their 5Mpbs lines was downloading large files the best they'd each get would be something like 500Kbps assuming a 10-1 contention rate and most ISPs are are 20-1 or 50-1.
P2P traffic will slow down if there is a lot of it or if there is other long running traffic, without Comcast doing anything.

The bigger issue is that our connections are a shared resource. I it fair for you to get all of the bandwidth and leave me with slower response for my web traffic just because you want to download movies. Should we all get an equal slice. The only way for the ISP to do this is traffic shape - limiting the amount of total available bandwidth available for high use protocols like P2P traffic. Ding this means that when I try to load my web page or shoot a dragon in my MMOG there is some bandwidth left to give me a decent response.

Now, you could say that all the ISPs should have enough backbone to supply each of us with full time use of the bandwidth that the ISP talks about providing. The problem is that this would cost a HUGE amount of money and your bill would up 10-50 times what you now pay (depending on your ISPs contention factor).

The so called "net neutrality" debate is mis-named. The question is who pays for the cost of infrastructure and who makes the profits?

Re:How should get what bandwidth/priority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21371391)

I guess I look at it this way... Recently, I was told my cable internet fee would go up $15/mo (50%) because they were upgrading my speed from 3MB/s to 5MB/s, because they "no longer were offering" the lower speed. If they can't handle the increased volume, 1) Why force customers to upgrade, 2) Why stop offering a lower speed, and 3) They damn well better let me use the speed they are forcing upon me.

I mean, it's not like they "can't" throttle at lower rates. They just know that they continue to jack up promised speeds to increase revenue -- knowing that the average user won't increase their bandwidth utilization just because they have it.

I place the blame completely on the providers. Have people pay more if they want more, but deliver what you promise.

Re:How should get what bandwidth/priority (1)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371457)

Ok because you want faster service for your web/mmo traffic some other traffic should never get any bandwidth? More bandwidth isn't the crux of the problem even if it would solve the problem. They can throttle P2P without blocking it. Instead they decided to kill all connections.

In the end they just need to give SLA's with a minimum guaranteed bandwidth and also additional burst capability based on network load. Sure it may be something like 256Kbps guaranteed 12Mbps burst which would really make them look bad but right now if you're unable to use the connection you're effectively at 0bps and thats the same whether the network is under load or not.

Re:How should get what bandwidth/priority (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371749)

Now, you could say that all the ISPs should have enough backbone to supply each of us with full time use of the bandwidth that the ISP talks about providing.

Nope. ISPs should, however, be required to advertise what they're actually offering rather than misleading potential customers.

The problem is that this would cost a HUGE amount of money and your bill would up 10-50 times what you now pay (depending on your ISPs contention factor).

Please. Comcast does not charge cost plus a markup for service. They charge what maximized profit because in many locations they have a government enforced monopoly and because their infrastructure was subsidized by our tax dollars to the tune of billions. They don't compete because no one else can get access to the last mile public right of ways needed to lay lines and because the government won't shell out billions more to establish a second player and won't require Comcast share the lines with competitors.

The so called "net neutrality" debate is mis-named.

Net neutrality is a different issue altogether, despite propaganda trying to confuse the topic. Net neutrality is simply advocating a law that says ISPs can't treat traffic differently depending upon the source and destination of the traffic. That is to say, they can throttle all bittorrent traffic, but they can't throttle all bittorrent traffic except traffic to a service they are offering or service to a company they get paid extra by.

The question is who pays for the cost of infrastructure and who makes the profits?

The entrenched telecos make the profits, because their lobbying dollars are more influential than the threat to politicians posed by the chance that voters will be informed of how new laws affect them and vote on the issue. The infrastructure has already been paid for largely by the US taxpayer. In fact, we've already paid more per person than Sweden, which has similar population density and who subsidized the entire infrastructure and have much more widespread coverage. They have faster speeds and pay a fraction of what we do. This is despite a huge misappropriation scandal there. That means in the US we pay more monthly. after having paid more in taxes, and we have a significantly inferior system. What does that tell you aside from the fact that telecos in the US are more greedy and our government is significantly more corrupt.

Finally, we have granted these big companies immunity from prosecution for breaking a huge number of laws like copyright violation, child pornography laws, libel and slander laws, etc. We grant them this protection under the guise of their being "common carriers" but many of them are not officially bound by the restrictions we place on other common carriers. Instead they have all the benefits of common carriers, but eschew the responsibility (to carry all traffic impartially without censorship or discrimination). It is clear to me that our current laws and the way these companies operate is not in the interests of the people, but only in the interests of milking as much money as possible. If we can publicize what is happening and get people to care about how far the US is falling behind other industrialized nations, maybe we can see some real improvement and move back to the top 10 internet enabled countries in the world, where we need to be if we hope to salvage our economy.

Re:How should get what bandwidth/priority (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372285)

It has nothing whatsoever to do with common carrier. It is called DMCA Safe Harbor provisions.

A whole different thing that any sort of "common carrier" status.

Re:How should get what bandwidth/priority (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372511)

It has nothing whatsoever to do with common carrier. It is called DMCA Safe Harbor provisions.

The DMCA regards the distribution of tools that can be used to bypass encryption based DRM on copyrighted materials. The safe harbor provision mostly apply to online publishers hosting content, not ISPs. The DMCA does not grant ISPs the right to make and distribute copies of copyrighted works, like every time they transmit a copy of a Web page from router to router to an eventual client.

Re:How should get what bandwidth/priority (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371845)

Yes, there is no guaranteed bandwidth so those companies still buy "real" T1, T3 lines.

I wonder one thing. How come those ISPs aren't hurt by millions of people actually streaming/downloading flv files over HTTP, the protocol every "real" media player falls back as last resort?

ISPs have something deeper against P2P technology and its becoming household item via legal distributors such as Vuze, Bittorrent(.com) etc.

In fact, lets say one day a hit movie ships legally online exact same time as cinemas. It is released as, Apple iTunes store (non P2P) and Vuze/Bittorrent. Guess which will choke down the ISP bandwidth? Apple one! As the content is really popular, more than 1 person at same time will download it and will keep it sharing in same IP block. ISPs even setup Tucows/Open source mirrors to get rid of outside traffic. Vuze/Azureus guys ship everything down to 100kb plugins over Bittorrent protocol and guess what? Nobody hits their servers at all. Most of the time, you end up downloading from your own IP block.

This has something to do with ties with large media companies, loss of major bandwidth/hosting contracts and even political control.

Peering (2, Insightful)

raidfibre (1181749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21371981)

I would like to propose for a minute that if everyone has faster connections, and everyone uses p2p protocols to transfer some of their content, that bandwidth peering will go up, and ISPs won't really have to pay a lot more for the OC48s. I realize that a lot of that is in upkeep/exotic hardware.

I guess what I'm saying is that this is a possibility, and a study should be done to see what the REAL effect of p2p is. If I'm connected to 10 other people in the Boston area on Comcast's network, would I REALLY be costing Comcast more money in bandwidth, aside from the fact that I'm using a lot of "last mile" throughput (which yes, I know, costs money to maintain).

--
I reserve the right to be completely wrong *shrug*

Re:How should get what bandwidth/priority (1)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372435)

Seems like they're taking a page from the banker's textbook.

I think I saw why they do such thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21371597)

Vuze is commercial arm of Azureus. Uses the Azureus, adds some commercial features which would enable publishers sell (not neccesarily DRM!) paid video on every single platform Java 5+ (or even 1.4?) supports. The pure opensource Azureus is still there at 2.5.x tree.

Now I think I know why Vuze is doing such thing and I am sure it is not about publicity or protecting "pirate" rights.

ISP guys punish money making media companies over P2P, they are selling perfectly legal content, a LOT more legal than Youtube contents which makes money via Google ads.

For example instead of buying overpriced (for now) Blu Ray player, I purchased all 8 episodes of Serenity HD TV series from Istanbul. Other option would be? Piracy since I won't pay $600 for a first generation player and also won't pay $40 to DHL while I pay $30 to media.

While downloading paid Serenity, I noticed lots of guys especially in USA using RC-160 encryption. For a second I laughed at people's paranoia level since the are downloading perfecty legal content from producer. I later noticed it was because their ISP is conspiring their bandwidth since they use P2P Bittorrent protocol.

What if you were Vuze and some users of you gets 56K levels for their paid content? What about those independent companies which sells media? They can't hire Akamai like Apple for sure.

This ISP block/filtering could be part of a much more bigger picture rather than stopping pirates. Notice lots of ISPs have strong relations with Media companies or are actually owned by them. While it isn't exactly some sort of guerilla radio/TV, Vuze offers opportunity to sell/rent your content without expensive hosting fees. People seem to buy them. I think it really pisses some big media companies for that reason. Loss of control, people actually using bandwidth they paid for...

traffic shaping will save online video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21371641)

But you need to pay more if you want better QoS. Otherwise bit torrent traffic will swamp the internet and everyone's video will suck. Net neutrality will kill the internet for anything other than email, web surfing, and file transfers that aren't time critical. Everything else will move to private networks, locking out the small entrepreneurs.

New Linux ISOs (2, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372053)

when popular Linux distros get released there is no way in hell the servers can keep up with users wanting the new distro that just got released, and BitTorrent is the only way to get a copy, not all BitTorrent users are downloading music & video. and not all music & video is copywrite infringement, and how dare the ISPs tell customers how they use the bandwidth they are paying for!!!

i hope the FCC accepts and enforces this petition...

Re:New Linux ISOs (2, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372255)

How dare they indeed. Except you aren't paying for raw "bandwidth", you are paying for a service that the ISP is providing. The terms of that service and what it consists of are not clearly defined. Nowhere does it say that specific protocols, transports and applications are either allowed or disallowed.

Pretty much, you bought a pig in a poke.

Re:New Linux ISOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21372483)

"raw bandwidth" costs real money.
u only get what i approve on this toy-internet i let u have here.

Dear Venture Capitalists and Techies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21372103)

It has come to my attention that currently in the US there are zero Internet Service Providers who are worth a fuck. Not a one, they all suck donkey dong. That's the problem, here is a solution, here is the business plan even the stupidest manager can work with. Offer a clean fast pipe,and CHARGE by the gigabyte transferred. That's it! The customer gets access to the internet for whatever they want. Simple, to the point, requires very little in the way of fine print on some terms or conditions, and is as consumer friendly as it gets, which means consumers will actually like you if you aren't completely ridiculous on fees. Fair is one thing, gouging is another. This is called KISS principle. No hijacking homepages with your install setup disk, no allowing this or not allowing that, no secret download caps or screwing over this port or that port or telling someone they can't use their internet machine for the purpose the internet sas intended, ie, communications of..who cares! People are all different, let the customers decide. None of that other nonsense that the sucky providers have, no "plans", no hidden rules, no interfering, just sell us the gas for our internet trucks at a fair price, and we'll drive when and where and how as we see fit.

Thank you, potential customer

The Solution: Require Full Disclosure (1)

dalesun (140319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21372477)

The only practical solution is to require providers to fully disclose any bandwidth shaping or similar throttling, and regulate the application of such limits to existing accounts.

Such limited service should never be sold as unlimited Internet access. Clear terms, such as limited, shaped or controlled, should be required. Limits should not be added to existing accounts without providing adequate notice of at least 60 days.

Trying to prohibit any type of throttling is a losing proposition that invites many arguments against it; and such legislation would be very difficult to pass. Regulating how networks are managed and Quality of Service is maintained just isn't practical. But it's easy to require any routine application throttling or traffic shaping to be fully disclosed. An informed customer is unlikely to choose such a limited service; it's unlikely they would even be offered.

Speak.to is about communication [speak.to]

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?