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P2P Fans Pound Comcast In FCC Comments

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the do-not-fiddle-my-bits dept.

The Internet 306

Not Comcastic writes "Two weeks after officially opening proceedings on Comcast's BitTorrent throttling, angry users are bombarding the FCC with comments critical of the cable provider's practices. 'On numerous occasions, my access to legal BitTorrent files was cut off by Comcast,' a systems administrator based in Indianapolis wrote to the FCC shortly after the proceeding began. 'During this period, I managed to troubleshoot all other possible causes of this issue, and it was my conclusion (speaking as a competent IT administrator) that this could only be occurring due to direct action at the ISP (Comcast) level.' Another commenter writes 'I have experienced this throttling of bandwidth in sharing open-source software, e.g. Knoppix and Open Office. Also I see considerable differences in speed ftp sessions vs. html. They are obviously limiting speed in ftp as well.'"

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SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22226722)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
goatse fans pound comcast [goatse.ch]

Failure of the natural monopoly (2)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226754)

In the end, it looks like it will take separate physical plants to stir up some real competition. These people should switch to FIOS when it gets rolled out.

Re:Failure of the natural monopoly (3, Informative)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226776)

FiOS is available in some areas now. It got put in my old neighborhood right before I moved, so sad. My friend has it though and he claims it's faster than cable. I don't have any numbers but, what the heck even if it's just a little slower, anything's better than comcast...

Re:Failure of the natural monopoly (1)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227360)

Why would you assume it was slower than cable? Until cable rolls with Docsis 3.0 fios will completely own it. Hell fios owns my ASDL 2+ connection in the upstream, though it's comparable to my downstream. Beats the hell out of anything I could get through cable without paying for business class.

Re:Failure of the natural monopoly (1)

Wo1ke (1218100) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227390)

My current speed using Cnet's Test http://reviews.cnet.com/7004-7254_7-0.html [cnet.com] : 2355.7 Kbps, though a couple of days ago, it was at 4.2Mbps. So, yes, generally, FIOS is faster than cable, if you define cable as T1 and bellow. I've been able to download multi-gigabyte files (mostly some OSS games/apps for my new pc)in half an hour. NOTE: This is FIOS routed through a wireless router not running in 'g' mode.

Re:Failure of the natural monopoly (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226848)

These people should switch to FIOS when it gets rolled out.

Yeah, and if you're in California and aren't in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino or Ventura - which means most of California - you'll get it Real Soon Now.

Re:Failure of the natural monopoly (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227016)

Yeah, and if you're in California and aren't in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino or Ventura - which means most of California - you'll get it Real Soon Now.
Have you looked at a population density map recently. Those five counties probably account for some 80% of California's population.

Re:Failure of the natural monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22227462)

I think you missed the sarcasm in the OP comment. There's a rumor/conspiracy/speculation that Fios is only being rolled out in affluent areas of California first. Well, at least in the greater Los Angeles area. Verizon has no interest in laying fiber in areas where customers don't have the desire/ability to pay for the service. Those customers can sign up for Verizon dial-up instead.

Here we come Verizon (2, Funny)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226852)

You it's really bad when you have to flee TO Verizon. Trust me, these people are horribly incompetent and have horrible customer service. Nevermind that their various departments just cannot talk to each other. If you have phone service and Internet through them good luck getting either taken care of even though they are on the same damn bill. Still moving to Verizon might actually be the only option left (shudders).

Re:Here we come Verizon (5, Informative)

fred911 (83970) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227118)

"these people are horribly incompetent and have horrible customer service"

Say what you will, but they are the ONLY ISP who didn't roll over and provide their customers info to the RIAA. Theyd
fought for their customers right of privacy to the Supreme court and PREVAILED.

  In this day and age... that means something.

 

Re:Here we come Verizon (5, Insightful)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227180)

They rolled over for the NSA. They fought when it was convenient for them. Being inconsistent means nothing.

Re:Here we come Verizon (1)

Ryukotsusei (1164453) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227342)

I don't think it's possible not to roll over for the NSA. They do pretty much own your ass.

Re:Here we come Verizon (4, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227450)

Were you not paying attention when Qwest actually stood up and refused because they read what the law says?

Re:Here we come Verizon (1)

Wo1ke (1218100) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227470)

Hey, yeah, let's compare national security, and rolling over to a government agency, as required by law, to telling RIAA to go fuck themselves. That's a great analogy, isn't it? NSA isn't there JUST to spy on us, I'm pretty sure they do have legit responsibility. Anyways, it's not like Verizon had much choice in the matter.

Re:Here we come Verizon (2, Insightful)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227396)

it's really bad when you have to flee TO Verizon.

I saw some billboards around here (put up by Comcast) that said
"Three words: We're Not Verizon"

Which I thought was a funny ad campaign, since in my experience, they're so much worse than Verizon.

I mean, Verizon sucks too, but at least they're not Comcast.

Re:Trading one monopoly for another? (2, Informative)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226922)

I heard that when you switch to FIOS they remove your POTS lines.

Also, from what I'm guessing, it you don't like your ISP providing the FIOS connection, you cannot get another ISP that can use that FIOS connection.

IOW: you are just locking yourself into another monopoly.

Re:Trading one monopoly for another? (2, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227108)

They typically convert your copper POTS line to a fiber based one. From the point of view of your telephone service, there is no difference. You can't have DSL over it though. You can however request that they leave your copper phone line alone if you desire DSL from an CLEC. There is no sunset date for existing Verizon copper but one day eventually Verizon wants will turn off all copper and at that point you will be SOL.

Re:Trading one monopoly for another? (1)

SkyDude (919251) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227310)

I heard that when you switch to FIOS they remove your POTS lines.

Your phone service travels over fiber instead of copper. Isn't that better? The FIOS line can carry multiple phone lines so say good-bye to the old copper lines.

Also, from what I'm guessing, it you don't like your ISP providing the FIOS connection, you cannot get another ISP that can use that FIOS connection.
IOW: you are just locking yourself into another monopoly.

And, that's they way all ISPs want it. Verizon is trying to have Massachusetts remove the need to get permission from each city and town and instead, go through one state agency for authorization to carry television signals. What do ya think - will the citizens of MA have any leverage once that goes through?

Re:Trading one monopoly for another? (1)

Spokehedz (599285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227312)

Yeah, but who uses a POTS line anyway?

My cellphone acts like a modem--I've used it like one in the past where I needed to fax something for some reason or another. That is the only time I could have used a POTS line. But now I hear that you can fax through your VOIP if they have it set up correctly.

If there is a power outage, I just light some candles and sit tight.

Please enlighten me on what other uses a POTS line has, if I have a cellphone and the Internet.

Re:Trading one monopoly for another? (1)

Stachybotris (936861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227490)

As someone who, up until recently, worked for a CLEC, let me just say that this is not the case. It's too expensive to physically remove the copper. Usually the techs simply disconnect it from the NID, though in rare cases they may cut it at ground level. Also, consider that the fiber is typically run close to the copper so that they can use the copper line to find the fiber if they have to.

Distributed Internet (1)

lexarius (560925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227214)

I think the only real escape from our land-line monopolists might be for wide-area high-speed wireless routers with automatic meshing capabilities in the consumer's cost range to be developed. There are problems with this of course, and a 100% switchover is unlikely, but if it can make competition then it might help everyone.

Re:Failure of the natural monopoly (1)

dabraun (626287) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227448)

I want to - if only for the bandwidth improvements both up and down.

Unfortunately where I am it seems that Verizon FiOS is filtering out port 80 - Comcast (my current provider) is not. This is something of a deal-breaker - and leaves me baffled ... why is Verizon offering me 15up/15down service and then telling me "absolutely no servers"? What on earth is that upstream bandwidth for? No commercial servers, ok. No unreasonable use of the upstream pipe at full capacity 24/7, ok. Telling me I can't run my freakin' family web site that a few people look at each week when I'm paying for 15mb up - WTF?

Well, whatever. (5, Funny)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226762)

Well, whatever. It's not like their throttling has affec@G#TG%2yv24*SA$FNO CARRIER

Re:Well, whatever. (4, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227046)

I have only one thing to say to that:

+++

Re:Well, whatever. (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227092)

See what you get when you don't pay you@G#TG%2yv24*SA$FNO CARRIER

Re:Well, whatever. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22227336)

I didn't realize Comcast offered dial-up service...

Industry move (1, Insightful)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226792)

Hmm, perhaps if you ssh tunneled out on port 80 to a proxy or destination server... in that way, the ISP at the most: 1) Couldn't read your traffic 2) Wouldn't be able to tell what application you were using (IE 21 = ftp, etc) Just a thought..

Re:Industry move (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226846)

Hmm, perhaps if you ssh tunneled out on port 80 to a proxy or destination server...
Of course, we all have servers just sitting out there that we can ssh to that will give us such unfettered access right?

C'mon. Even some (most?) of us geeks don't have anything convenient to ssh to that would give us unfettered access to the Net.

Re:Industry move (1)

epedersen (863120) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226980)

Probably most do, I know of the people I work with more then half do.

Re:Industry move (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227076)

Probably most do, I know of the people I work with more then half do.
How so?

  • Most Web hosts don't allow unlimited outgoing access anymore.
  • Work servers are, of course, monitored. Unless you're the only admin... :)
  • Shell account providers, even ones that cost money, are becoming few and far between.
  • Most of us can't afford a coloc server.

Re:Industry move (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227120)

Most do?

I don't anyone that does, including myself. Not all of us work in IT.

Re:Industry move (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226988)

I thought of that, of course, that the technology that wins will always be the easiest to setup, and ssh is more difficult to use than not.. but it was more directed to the comment in the header. I just figured that the "competent" administrator would know how to bypass such restrictions. Remember the old days, when one had to have at least an IQ of over 100 to connect to the net, and it wasn't clogged with porn and javascript?

Besides, what is an IT administrator doing using ftp anyways?

Re:Industry move (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227138)

I'm fairly certain KOffice and OpenOffice distribution sites don't offer sftp...

They do offer FTP, though and he said it was affected.

Re:Industry move (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227330)

Well, this is because they have to apply to the lowest common denominator. I'm sure if they did offer sftp services (It would take a competent admin 5 minutes to setup an sftp server) it would get usage.

As well, there would probably be some crazy cool, well-coded gui ssh apps to help your standard user to get up and running in seconds.

Well, crazy-cool anyways :)

Re:Industry move (5, Interesting)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227058)

I've got mod points, and I was going to moderate in this thread, and then I saw this and needed to reply.

I've got Comcast at home, and lately anything over :80/tcp has been horrendous. Most pages take a good 10-30 seconds to connect to the server, and never mind the number of pictures that can be on some sites.

I grabbed my laptop, hit the OpenVPN button to my server in a datacenter in Atlanta, and surprise! The pages loaded instantly.

Between P2P throttling and general crappy service, I sincerely hope that this suit changes things for the better.

Re:Industry move (5, Interesting)

Sangui5 (12317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227478)

Just a note (perhaps you know this, but others may not), but the reason VPN works and SSH tunnels don't is because Sandvine targets long-lived TCP connections. By default, OpenVPN tunnels over UDP; the control messages for session handling is done by OpenVPN and is unreadable by intermediaries. With SSH tunnels, they can't read your data, but they can forge TCP control messages, which isn't encrypted.

Ironically, Comcast may be really hurting themselves in the long run; if it gets bad enough, P2P software writers will switch to UDP, and manually do the in-order/reliable delivery stuff themselves. TCP has a lot of fancy congestion control, and I doubt that the P2P writers will bother with it...

Re:Industry move (5, Informative)

Tassach (137772) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227070)

I'm on Comcast, and I upload pictures to my photography website via SCP. The uploads get throttled after the first couple of MB. Encryption makes no difference to what they're doing. They don't need to know what's in the packets to decide whether or not to throttle them -- they can make that decision based on what's in the header.

Re:Industry move (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227192)

hmm, going through port 80, they would have to inspect every handshaking header packet. On every computer. Thats probably why the comcast service is so slow ;)

Re:Industry move (1)

xeoron (639412) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227218)

That does not surprise me, since they throttle my https traffic with gmail.

Re:Industry move (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227098)

Hmm, perhaps if you ssh tunneled out on port 80 to a proxy or destination server...

Of course, I shouldn't have to be Macgyver [wikipedia.org] to simply access legal content.

u didnt share that HBO show? (-1, Flamebait)

dctmfoo (1150119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226798)

yeah right. You just sharing Knoppix and Open Office? BS

Re:u didnt share that HBO show? (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226860)

open your eyes, everything uses torrents these days, game demo's/patches for everything and they are as big as a gig each.

Re:u didnt share that HBO show? (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226962)

open your eyes, everything uses torrents these days, game demo's/patches for everything and they are as big as a gig each.
Yep, World of Warcraft, one of the most popular games in the world uses a customized bittorrent client to distribute patches. Most distros, and often creative commons or public domain videos are also distributed via bittorrent. On occasion I've even see new movie trailers being distributed with bittorrent, although admittedly that's pretty rare considering the MPAAs rocky relations with P2P.

Re:u didnt share that HBO show? (4, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227000)

I don't play WoW, so someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that it uses Torrents for updates and patching. GP is pretty naive to assume that just because you've had to use a torrent it means you're a big pirate. It's a legitimate way of moving huge files around the 'net. That's like saying all truck drivers are smugglers just because a few people use semi-trucks to smuggle drugs into the country.

Re:u didnt share that HBO show? (5, Insightful)

ProteusQ (665382) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227266)

You're right! In order to stop this smuggling, I move that all truck traffic must observe a maximum speed of 45 mph.

There! That'll fix it.

Re:u didnt share that HBO show? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22227022)

Fuck developers that release game demos and patches via BitTorrent.

Why the fuck should I pay for their bandwidth? Why don't they just release it via plain old HTTP? Too simple for them? Because it works for those of us behind firewalls? Because it doesn't involve opening ports to the public Internet? Because it doesn't require "Allowing" through twenty or so firewall alerts for who-knows-what to get server rights?

HTTP is almost 20 years old. It works. It should be used.

If you want to distribute content, pay for the costs yourself. Don't force me to because you're too cheap to pay for adequate hosting.

Re:u didnt share that HBO show? (2, Informative)

DCTooTall (870500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227170)

Well with the Warcraft updates, Blizz DOES have a server which you can download from. If you are behind a firewall the blizz client will sometimes connect to their own server to download the content from, it's just slow as hell. The nice thing is that with the supposed 10mil customers they now have, it makes it a lot quicker to get EVERYBODY patched then it would be if everybody was having to connect to the same choke-point to download the latest 300meg patch to be able to connect to the server.


You can also download the patches from other 3rd party websites. The link if I recall is located within their support site.

Re:u didnt share that HBO show? (1)

lonesome_coder (1166023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227334)

Asbestos worked as insulation, so we should continue using that. Oh, wait, what? I was just going by this guy's logic.

Plain and simple, torrents help move big files faster. If you can't configure your firewall to get around issues that is your fault. It's called progress.

Re:u didnt share that HBO show? (1)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226912)

You make it sound as though anyone who's ever used bittorrent has shared at least one thing they weren't supposed to. That would be an interesting claim to prove.

Re:u didnt share that HBO show? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227202)

Cary Sherman? [wikipedia.org] Is that you? [uncyclopedia.org]

-mcgrew

fortunately (4, Insightful)

syrinx (106469) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226810)

Fortunately, after reading the scathing criticism, Comcast executives were able to comfort themselves with their huge sacks of money.

As for myself, I plan to dump Comcast right away and switch to... oh wait, Comcast is my only option for Internet access. Well.

Perhaps I'll go dig out the ol' 2400 baud modem, maybe I can find a BBS to call.

Re:fortunately (2, Interesting)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226886)

I vaguely recall reading something a while back about using 802.11 routers in order to create a wireless internet, and routing traffic wirelessly from one to another to go from places where no broadband is available to places where it was.

Perhaps it's about time to get some real ethernet going over a large area.

Re:fortunately (2, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227028)

Thanks to the 100M cable limit, Ethernet can't be used easily for that without going to fiber optic or something else... so much for the easy cost.

I'm trapped with Comcast too. AT&T says they are deploying U-Verse near me (they've been doing the digging) but I expect it will be at least 1 year or two late. I can't wait to move off.

There are a few options. You can use WiFi links over long distances with better antennas and a good line of sight... but this requires the other person to be able to get something like DSL etc. WiMax will fix this in decent sized areas, since it can cover a larger area than WiFi by a large margin. Too bad it's not available yet and will end up really expensive (you didn't expect Sprint to go cheap, did you?). You could use a 3G cellular modem... no... wait.. those are expensive and slow (compared to cable). Then there is white space internet which is only just starting to get tested by the FCC on an experimental basis. Powerlines don't seem to work well (big wires work like antennas? No!). Satellite is too slow (latency) and expensive.

So if you are stuck on Cable, like me, enjoy. You'll be there for quite a while.

Re:fortunately (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227208)

Which is why you don't use ethernet cable--ethernet over ether, as it were. Provide many access points, and a bit of traffic management here and there, and, with sufficient nodes, you could have a fairly massive wifi network sharing any number of outgoing and incoming landlines. The tech exists--the problem is how to organize such a network.

Re:fortunately (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227356)

Thanks to the 100M cable limit, Ethernet can't be used easily for that without going to fiber optic or something else... so much for the easy cost.
A couple points:

1. The 100 meter cable distance limitation is for 10/100/1000Base-T, not Ethernet. For example, 10GBASE-LR is capable of transmitting Ethernet at distances of up to 10 kilometers over single mode fiber.

2. Metro wireless networks don't need to use a wired network for back haul, and typically don't. For example, endpoints could connect to the access points using 802.11b/g, and then the access points could mesh with one another using 802.11a/n. At some point there would be wired connections, but they don't have to be on every, or even the majority, of the access points.

Re:fortunately (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227384)

...and I see you already pointed out that fiber could be an option, so maybe you knew that already. Sorry.

Re:fortunately (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226944)

there is a solution - have the government force comcast to give 3rd parties access to their lines, for a rental fee. this will no doubt have in the same position we in australia have though, a company desperately trying to hang onto it's monopoly, though it has had limited success after many court battles.

old monopolies don't die, they just find new ways to rip you off.

MOD PARENT UP (3, Interesting)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227074)

there is a solution - have the government force comcast to give 3rd parties access to their lines, for a rental fee

In the US, this is how AT&T got broken, and POTS is now better and cheaper than before. (Yes, VOIP may be even better and cheaper, but the telephone benefits predated that.)

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

DCTooTall (870500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227338)

Unfortunately don't think that will happen. The attempt to get cable to open their lines was already made a few years ago http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/24/166228 [slashdot.org] . The loss and ruling in that case was ultimately the decision the bells used to be able to lock 3rd parties out of their next-gen technologies such as FiOS by getting them classified as Information Services as well instead of the traditional Telecommunications Service.


If Nothing more, I could see AT&T and Verizon working with the CableCo's to keep the Cable companies from being forced to open their lines to 3rd parties as it would give ammunition to force them to reopen their new services as well to 3rd parties. (Notice how long it took for Verizon to start rolling out FiOS? and how it's been since the above linked case that we have started to see the aggressive roll-out? )

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22227454)

I'm trying to understand the logic here. You want high-speed internet so bad you'd have the government force somebody to rent their property to others? Where does it stop?

Besides, if you're really afraid of a big bad monopoly, coming up with a way for them to remain at the center of *any* high-speed internet service in your area is not the way to beat them.

If you really want to go down the "government forced rental" path, I suggest starting by forcing people with large houses to rent their spare bedrooms to the homeless. Homelessness is a much worse problem than slow internets.

Re:fortunately (1)

propellerhead_prime (777032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227162)

Sad to say, but it's no secret that Comcast has a defacto monopoly in many areas. I have had to move a lot in my career so I have had a chance to deal with several cable providers and Comcast is BY FAR the worst. The straw the broke this proverbial camel's back came last year when our service was horrendous. We would lose our cable and internet from Comcast at least once each month, usually for a day or two...and it's not like I live in some rural backwater, I'm in suburban NJ less than an hour from NYC.

Anyway, when I called Comcast and told them that I paid them for a service with an expectation that it would be available 24/7 and I would consider things to be balanced once they began to pro-rate my bill to take into consideration the fact that their network didn't function as much as 10% of the time...well, lets just say they weren't very receptive. So I dropped them like a hot rock.

The customer service rep was incredulous, because there are no other cable providers in my town (satellite isn't an option for me now for different reasons) and I told him flat out that I would rather have no television and computer access at all than to ever give Comcast one more cent of my money.

Since then I use Verizon Broadband and I am very pleased. I am really anxious for them to roll FIOS out to my area.

The only hitch is explaining to my kids why we are the only people in the neighborhood who can't watch TV.

On the good side, I think my kids are surprisingly well adjusted...in part because they aren't inundated by commercials for hours every day.

You sure about that? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227352)

I'm not calling you a liar, just asking if you've actually made sure that they are your only high speed option. I've had people here tell me that the cable company is the only option, and I know for a fact that is false, it is just that they haven't done any research.

The alternative would likely be some kind of DSL, but there are lots of different people to deliver that. First check to see if you local phone company does it. If they do, you can probably get another local ISP. Our local telco offers DSL, but you are free to use them just for transport and get another ISP.

Regardless of if they offer it or not, then check with Covad. They lease space from phone companies and provide DSL transport. Sometimes they compete with the telco, sometimes they are the only game around. They also will do ISP service, or they'll do transport to another ISP, generally a larger national one (like Speakeasy).

Similar to Covad is then Newedge. I'd probably check in to them only if the telco and Covad are out since they tend to be more focused on higher grade (and thus higher priced) SDSL and IDSL lines, but they are still an option. Yet again you can either get your access directly from them, or have them switch it over to another of their many partners (Speakeasy again, they work with both).

So if you have one or more of those DSL transport providers, you will discover that you have a lot of different ISP possibilities in the high speed market. You may be in a situation where you don't, however don't say that until you've checked. It annoys me when someone who lives down the street from me says Cox is the only option (the fact aside that I think Cox is a good ISP) when I know for a fact Qwest, Covad, AND Newedge all offer DSL in our area and between them there's probably 50 different ISP choices.

How to view submitted complaints (5, Informative)

verbalcontract (909922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226826)

Go to this page [fcc.gov] and put "07-52" into the "Proceeding" field.

Comments are in PDF form, so turn off "View in Browser" in Acrobat.

Re:How to view submitted complaints (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226964)

Goodness, 28355 unsorted comments, each of which opens into a separate PDF! Someone needs to show them how to use Slashcode.

Torrents (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227142)

It seems that a TORRENT of complaints to the FCC is the result

Re:How to view submitted complaints (0, Offtopic)

ill stew dottied ewe (962486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227186)

Better yet, turn off Acrobat and use a better reader. I use Foxit [foxitsoftware.com]

Pounding on Comcast (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22226854)

Just like a nigger pounds on the screaming teenage girl's ass as he rapes her.

Ron Paul 2008. Your women (and your pets) will thank you.

Bit Torrent has been hijacked by thieves (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22226896)

Instead of blaming the ISP's for throttling traffic that is mostly for illegal purposes, the community should clean up bit torrent or find another way to share legal files. You created the problem, not the ISP's. They don't want to deal with the traffic overload. My guess is though that this complaint is really about all Bit Torrent, not just legal sharing, and the real agenda has been hidden under the guise of legal sharing.

Re:Bit Torrent has been hijacked by thieves (1)

AP2k (991160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226972)

If the ISPs didnt oversell their bandwidth there would be an overload in the first place.

Re:Bit Torrent has been hijacked by thieves (4, Informative)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227042)

If ISP's didn't oversell bandwidth you would be paying $300/month for internet access.

Overselling isn't the problem. Way, way overselling is. Some things can be oversold without a problem, including bandwidth.

Parent astroturfing for Comcast? (1)

Raffaello (230287) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227060)

Is parent post AC because he's astroturfing for Comcast?

Read the item - one user claims proof that Comcast is throttling ftp as well. I suppose ftp "illegal" in your view as well then? Comcast is throttling bandwidth intensive traffic without regard to the legality of the content. This is wrong.

Comcast thought they could get away with advertising unlimited broadband service but only actually providing limted service. It is this deception of customers that brought on this investigation, not the content traveling over Comcast's network.

Re:Parent astroturfing for Comcast? (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227242)

Read the item - one user claims proof that Comcast is throttling ftp as well

Yeah, he also claims HTML is much faster than FTP. I guess you could say that, just like you could say that your nose is much faster than a jet because it takes the jet 3 hours to get to you.

I guess the check cleared. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22226902)

The one from Verizon. Nice money to bash their competition, eh?

Some Canadian ISPs are going a step further (5, Interesting)

sdjc (1038542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22226932)

For example, my local cable ISP has marked ALL encrypted traffic as having a lower priority over non-encrypted content in their "war on P2P filesharing" (this means, amongst other obvious drawbacks, downgraded performance using ssh and sftp) reference [michaelgeist.ca] . I am not sure on the specifics or legality of this kind of "filtering" but it would seem that nobody has made such a big fuss yet up here. Their practice is grey-zone at best I would think and it will be interesting to see what happens with the issue.

Re:Some Canadian ISPs are going a step further (2, Interesting)

ashridah (72567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227188)

That's curious. How are they defining 'encrypted'? Particular known ports? Content that clearly isn't to a "known port that isn't encrypted"? I can imagine that the former is relatively easy to bypass (nonstandard ports, port redirectors, etc), and the latter being a major issue for gaming of any description...

Does this apply to HTTP over SSL connections?
Of course, they simply cannot tell the difference between HTTP over SSL and... well, anything else over "SSL"...
And, of course, one could just run, say, bittorrent on port 80.... :)

ash

Re:Some Canadian ISPs are going a step further (1)

SailorFrag (231277) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227366)

My understanding is that they have a signature for the SSL handshake and use that. They could actually do quite well with that strategy if they make the first 50-100kb go fast and then drop the priority after that -- it makes most HTTPS transfers have no noticeable change in speed, but would dramatically slow down anything trying to do bulk data transfer.

Re:Some Canadian ISPs are going a step further (1)

webheaded (997188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227422)

I'd love to run anything over port 80, except that, unless you pay for a business line, no ISP offers an unblocked port 80. It just doesn't happen. They all have policies against servers so they block port 80 coming in...so that's not even possible. Of course you could still use standard ports going IN, but then everyone would have a crappy upload and you wouldn't be much better off.

Re:Some Canadian ISPs are going a step further (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22227274)

Hmm... I imagine that some rudimentary steganography could bypass this. Just throw some .avi headers on the encrypted data and they won't know that it isn't a video upload. What are they going to do, analyze the video to ensure that it contains recognizable images?

To paraphrase Mojo Nixon (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227302)

Now they want to have a war on filesharing! A WAR ON FILESHARING! We ought to have a war on war, suckers! We ought to have a war on this senseless...

Re:Some Canadian ISPs are going a step further (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227434)

Hmm if they're giving encrypted traffic a lower priority, that means that they are encouraging people to use http over https to connect to their bank, webmail and other online accounts that are usually encrypted to protect personal information. I can see a LOT of companies being upset with this (including Royal Bank, ScotiaBank, CIBC, HSBC, TD, etc.).

So about that witch hunt... (1)

bconway (63464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227004)

Also I see considerable differences in speed ftp sessions vs. html. They are obviously limiting speed in ftp as well.

No, they aren't. Sandvine's technology is only used based on deep packet inspection of BitTorrent traffic. It certainly opens the doors to anything and everything being blamed on it, as shown.

Re:So about that witch hunt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22227276)

Comcast likes to manipulate window sizes with packet-voodoo on *any* TCP stream.

Re:So about that witch hunt... (4, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227420)

That's false. There are numerous (Wireshark-confirmed) reports of RST injection happening on ANY TCP stream with a signficant amount of upstream bandwidth for more than a very short period of time.

For example, there's a well documented incident where Comcast's RST injection is killing Lotus Notes sessions where moderate sized (>1MB) attachments are sent.

Make it Public (3, Interesting)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227006)

This might be a little off-topic, but the common wisdom is that Comcast and other cable companies have monopolies on providing high-speed internet access in many areas. I realize they have competition from DirectTV (Satellite TV) and Broadcast Television for providing varying quality in Cable/TV entertainment, and that there is up-and-coming competition from Verizon to provide high-speed internet.

Is there any way to extend the "Public Broadcast TV" metaphor into the internet space? I could live with whatever downstream connection is required to watch YouTube videos... and upload streams that would pale in comparison to anybody running P2P services. Seriously, though, "light" internet users like me to subsidizing it for everybody else.

As for as throttling, Comcast is behaving unethically by stopping legitimate uses of P2P networks (sharing F/OSS distributions) and they should be heavily fined (I'm going to pull a RIAA-style gross sum of money from my ass), how about $500,000 per unethical P2P blockage? So divide the number of FCC complains in half, and then add the words "Millions" after it, and hand Comcast the bill.

And we thought money matters... (-1, Flamebait)

PirateBlis (1208936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227014)

This would be like Shell creating a special gasoline that only lets us travel below 70 MPH. I bought it, let me use it how I want to -.-

Seriously though, this is hindering my BangBros.com video downloads off of ThePirateBay.org. Instead of waiting an hour, I now have to spend 3 hours sitting there half naked with my #$%@ in my hands. 1 hour is cutting it close enough, but 3?!?! Dammit, my wife is liable to catch me in that time span. "Make me a sandwich" works only so many times as a distraction >.

Constitution in action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22227018)

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

FCC vs. CSR (5, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227030)

Although FCC comments are all well and good, talking to Comcast's CSR (customer service reps) will have more impact. If every balky P2P connection results in a $5-$10 in call-center time, then Comcast will think differently about it's filtering policy.

The key to solving this is to make unfettered P2P connections the least cost option for Comcast. That means increasing the costs of not providing those connections. FCC fines might do it (assuming the FCC acts), but high customer service cost certainly will.

Re:FCC vs. CSR (2, Funny)

sdjc (1038542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227198)

Yes, but the personal trauma caused by having to be put on hold until you take up their valuable time on the line is beyond my threshold for pain!

Re:FCC vs. CSR (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227260)

You are making a silly assumption here. You seem to think that customer support costs are variable. Instead for a slimy company like Comcast they are fixed. As more calls come in they will not hire any more workers or add any more hours to CSR's schedules. The hold times will just go up which will result in crappy customer service for everybody. People can't actually leave Comcast because most people don't have another option. Therefore Comcast has no incentive to provide good customer service.

Re:FCC vs. CSR (1)

Osurak (1013927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227344)

Although FCC comments are all well and good, talking to Comcast's CSR (customer service reps) will have more impact. If every balky P2P connection results in a $5-$10 in call-center time, then Comcast will think differently about it's filtering policy.
That might work, if calling Comcast's technical support didn't require me to spend upwards of two or three hours on the phone listening to godawful elevator music. Seems like they get the last laugh, yet again.

Giant wake-up call for Comcast? (2, Funny)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227080)

Can't stop the signal, Mal. ;-)

Only a problem when it is unknown (5, Insightful)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227096)

Throttling is IMHO only a problem when the customer doesn't know about it.

I have specifically chosen an ISP who promise they don't use any kind of throttling. On the other hand I did'nt go with the cheapest ISP I could find. My ISP has a "true flatrate" policy. No maximum usage and no throttling. The price is accordingly a little higher.

Most of my family does not use P2P in any way, and rarely download anything at all. For them, a low price is more important. And lets face it: this kind of bandwidth throttling was only invented because 5% of the customers consume 90% of the ISPs backbone resources. If this wasn't an issue, nobody would have invented the damn thing.

I don't think throttling should be illegal. It should only be illegal to use throttling and not tell customers about it. Throttling keeps the price down for ISPs, and they should be perfectly allowed to implemented - as long as all their customers are aware of it. In that way, if you don't want an ISP/product with throttling you can simply choose another ISP/product.

Bandwidth costs money. Free competition dictates that all ISPs will be seeking ways to lower their costs and in that way offer the consumers lower prices. This is a good thing, as long as customers know what they are buying.

Therefore: Allow throttling, but force ISPs to clearly state which products are subject to throttling. In that way, customers can buy the product they find suitable for their needs, and the "heavy users" can pay a higher price for their actual usage.

It is no different than your (cell)phone bill: if you call people 24/7, of if you buy a true flatrate product, it will cost more than just calling your mom for 5 minutes twice a month. Just as it should.

- Jesper

Re:Only a problem when it is unknown (1)

flareup (1216446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227452)

if you don't want an ISP/product with throttling you can simply choose another ISP/product.
assuming that comcast didn't buy the only other competitor. The government has just made this a monopoly and for some reason the gov't has liked it up until now. MS on the other hand, they don't like. Can someone explain why?

Re:Only a problem when it is unknown (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227486)

Also, the way in which it is done makes a big difference.

If Comcast were dropping the priority of packets suspected to be BitTorrent so that BT sessions slowed down during peak periods in favor of more "interactive" traffic, it wouldn't be so bad.

The problem is that they're not really throttling - they are actively killing connections by injecting bogus RST packets, regardless of time of day. (Despite their claims that traffic is only "delayed" at "peak times", which would be understandable and fine with me.) Unfortunately, while BT recovers somewhat from such active RST injection (it just starts up again), it completely breaks other protocols (such as sending email to a Lotus Notes server.)

Complaints Need Moderation (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227130)

The process will work wonderfully and it goes something like this:

1. ALL kinds of complaints come in and someone who has no expertise in the matter sifts through them and draw up some kind of summary.

2. Some kind of complaint summary report is generated. Who knows what, if any basis in fact it will have other than "lots of complaints."

3. Report is vetted and voided of all possible meaningful content.

4. Report is distributed to low-level types who summarize the summary to their rep/congress-critter.

5. Comcast works the pay-to-play system, gives a mea-culpa in front of the committee.

6. Committee agrees to author stern letter to comcast.

7. Comcast execs holiday with committee members and share the good times.

Not only comcast (2, Interesting)

warrior_s (881715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227146)

I am not serviced by comcast but by NTC communications in blacksburg, va. the worst thing here is that if I try to use bit torrent or some other p2p application, all my web traffic is stopped (yes STOPPED) as long as I let p2p application run. Then, when I close bit torrent, it take few minutes for normal web access to resume. this is really frustrating. I usually VPN to my school and access every thing from there then.

Re:Not only comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22227328)

That's not your ISP. That's an example of WHY Comcast throttles BitTorrent.

If you don't throttle BitTorrent, it will merrily use ALL the available bandwidth. I've been personally throttling BitTorrent for ages. It's why most popular BitTorrent clients support throttling. If you don't throttle it, it will take up all the available bandwidth and things like web access will simply become impossible because all the bandwidth is taken up with BitTorrent packets.

Throttling BitTorrent is good for the 'net. BitTorrent tries to take ALL the available pipe. The only way to fight back against that is to throttle it. Otherwise, enough people using BitTorrent will block out EVERYONE from using ANYTHING else.

Serviced? (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227442)

I am not serviced by comcast
I heard people were serviced by Comcast before and thought nothing of it. Then I was out in the country with a friend who owns a farm. He was waiting for a new bull to come to his farm. I asked what he would do with the bull and he said that the bull was coming to service his cows. I hope you're as enlightened as I am.

ISP's aren't throttling...they're adding burst (3, Interesting)

DigitalJer (1132981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227392)

I occasionally consult for a wireless ISP, and we've become friends. In order for him to avoid ppl saturating his network, he's implemented a burst feature. Shaw (here in Alberta, anyway) has something similar. So a constant stream might yield15 kb/s, whereas web surfing seems fast. That's because the network will burst (in Shaw's case) up to 25 MB/s. Let that baby stream though, regardless if it's FTP, .torrent, HTTP, and it'll slow down to 50 kb/s or so. I seriously doubt Comcast (although I don't know anything about them) is identifying and throttling any particular protocol or P2P stream...they've just done what Shaw, and my friend has; I'd bet.

Only 28356? (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22227406)

Come on. Only 28356 complaints are listed? /. can take down entire servers but only come up with 28k complaints? Where is everyone?
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