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Comcast Defends Role As Internet Traffic Cop

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the this-is-going-to-get-worse-before-we-lose dept.

The Internet 425

RCTrucker7 writes "Comcast said yesterday that it purposely slows down some traffic on its network, including some music and movie downloads, an admission that sparked more controversy in the debate over how much control network operators should have over the Internet. In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Comcast said such measures — which can slow the transfer of music or video between subscribers sharing files, for example — are necessary to ensure better flow of traffic over its network. In defending its actions, Comcast stepped into one of the technology industry's most divisive battles. Comcast argues that it should be able to direct traffic so networks don't get clogged; consumer groups and some Internet companies argue that the networks should not be permitted to block or slow users' access to the Web."

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425 comments

If comcast want'sto do this (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406774)

Then they should not be protected from legal action regarding what flows over the network.

Make that stipulation and they will stop in a heart beat.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (5, Interesting)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406908)

Not a bad idea. If they are doing deep packet inspection to filter and slow traffic identified as peer to peer, are they not party responsible for the alleged infringment? I know if I offered a guy a ride in my car, then watched him shoot the person next to me, and continued to take him home, it would make me an accessory to murder

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (1, Flamebait)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407152)

If they are doing deep packet inspection to filter and slow traffic identified as peer to peer, are they not party responsible for the alleged infringment?

Only if you are one of the dumbasses that thinks p2p == infringement.

This internet HDTV show [mariposahd.tv] is a perfectly legitimate use of bittorrent that just happens to be interfered with by policies like these. I'm sure that 20 people will chime in with replies to this post stating other legitimate uses as well.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407236)

you HAD to bring in the car analogy, didnt you?

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407486)

Atleast it wasn't a plumber analogy about setting up a sewer system and watching them flush illegal substances down the series of tubes you just installed.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407392)

I know if I offered a guy a ride in my car, then watched him shoot the person next to me, and continued to take him home, it would make me an accessory to murder.

Hardly. It would be easy enough to defend yourself by saying you feared for your life after seeing your passenger shoot someone to stop and make him get out, where he probably didn't want to, to avoid being retaliated against in kind.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (4, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406962)

Then they should not be protected from legal action regarding what flows over the network.

Make that stipulation and they will stop in a heart beat.
Not at all. For cable internet service, an entire neighborhood typically shares the same chunk of bandwidth. Each cable modem has a bandwidth cap, but if you add the bandwidth for each subsriber in a neighborhood, it easily exceeds the available bandwidth. Also, there is a LOT less bandwidth alloted for upstream transmissions, so cable networks are a lot more sensitive to torrents, where up and down are roughly the same (or at least the should be). This has nothing to do with legality.

So, from the cable company perspective, big downloaders affect the speeds of the entire neighborhood. I can certainly see their complaint.

In fact, I have no problem with bandwidth limiting. When I grab torrents, I try to set reasonable bandwidth caps so as to not affect my neighbors (unless it is something that I need in a hurry, like when the latest Ubuntu is released).

If Comcast wants to throttle the bandwidth on my torrents, so be it. I can live with that. But ABORTING a torrent is just plain nasty on their part. Delay the packets, fine. Drop a few packets, fine. But to inject an abort signal, dirty trick.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407022)

"..., it easily exceeds the available bandwidth"

Then don't sell 'unlimited' sell a tiered system. Do NOT blame the consumer for your(Comcasts) bad business decisions.

And if they were liable they would stop because no ISP wants to be liable for the consumers actions.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (-1, Flamebait)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407170)

Well, then stop complaining about net neutrality or STFU.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407322)

Huh? You couldn't be less clear. Complaining about net neutrality? Complaining that it's good, or bad? And what does this have to do with the parent post? Sorry, maybe it's my lack of coffee this morning, but I'm just not following you here.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (5, Interesting)

harrkev (623093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407330)

You are right about selling "unlimited" bandwidth. They do need to be more transparent with what they are offering.

Their pricing is assuming that not all customers want to use their maximum available bandwidth at the same time, which is generally true. If they really DID beef up the system to handle ALL available bandwidth, then the price would likely double or more.

Basicly, if you want cheaper prices, you have to make a sacrifice or two. If you really want dedicated bandwidth, pay for your own T3 to your house. Cable is marketed to typcial home user, where the use is rather bursty.

This is kind of like an all-you-can-eat buffet having the local pro football team stopping by for supper after practice five times a week. After a while, the restaraunt starts to loose money. They then have three choices:
1) Raise prices.
2) Put limits on the service.
3) Go out of business.
None of the three are great options, #1 hurts everybody, not just the heavy users. #2 keeps the prices low for most, at the expense of the heavy users, and #3 hurts everybody in general.

Note that I am NOT defending Comcast. I understand to need to do something about heavy usage. However, I am vehemently agains the WAY they have done things. Secret bandwidth caps and cancelling transfers are just plain decpetive and customer hostile. Now, if they had implemented a more reasonable policy, and actually advertised it, that would be good for everybody. I would be agreeable to temporary bandwith reductions (maybe 25% to 50%) for heavy useres during peak usage periods.

To summarize: I understand the need for limits and bandwidth control. But, Comcast has done a crappy job of implementing it, and has done it in such a manner as to stir up customer wrath. They could have handled things MUCH better.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (1)

mooglez (795643) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407418)

Option 2. is the correct way to proceed. BUT they are not telling their custoemrs there are limits, they are just throwing them out of the restaurant when they go over these invisible limits.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407464)

None of the three are great options, #1 hurts everybody, not just the heavy users. #2 keeps the prices low for most, at the expense of the heavy users, and #3 hurts everybody in general.

Upgrading their network isn't an option?

would be agreeable to temporary bandwith reductions (maybe 25% to 50%) for heavy useres during peak usage periods.

I wouldn't be agreeable to those. The applications that are used by the minority of internet users today are going to become mainstream tomorrow. Everybody is slamming bittorrent but missing the point that internet video is probably going to be the next killer app.

I don't know about you, but the typical "infringing" bittorrent download in my experience doesn't exceed 1 - 2Mbits because they usually have an unfavorable seeder/leecher ratio. Contrast that to Netflix instant view which consumes more then 2Mbits the entire time you are watching it.

If they can't handle either of the above then how the hell are they going to handle HD video streams? Should we just give up on IP-Video because the cable companies say they can't handle it? Why did we even bother upgrading from dialup technology if they aren't going to be able to keep pace with the times?

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407128)

The speed they are concered about is not the local nodes shared with your neighbors. This limiting and inspection is down further up the path and probably at the exit/entry points into the regions. On that note, all sources of bandwidth are "shared" With DSL/FIOS, it is shared as well as all users that terminate at that CO, share the bandwidth that CO has to the next upstream point. Okay, your individual line to the CO is not "shared" but there is no exit point before that CO so there is NO difference at all.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407218)


It would be one thing if they made traffic like HTTP higher priority than Torrents but from what I understand they are throttling torrents automatically, even if their aren't any HTTP requests on the local network... like say, in the middle of the night when your entire neighborhood is asleep, torrents still run much slower than the amount of bandwidth your supposed to have.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (2, Insightful)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407294)

And so the "cable is shared! dsl is not!" myth still survives.

They are all shared and technically oversubscribed (were everyone to use their advertised bandwidth). *Where* the "sharing" starts is irrelevant.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407316)

For cable internet service, an entire neighborhood typically shares the same chunk of bandwidth

And they can get around this by splitting their network into smaller nodes, devoting more channels on the HFC network to HSI services and investing in new technologies (DOCSIS 3.0) as they become available.

Also, there is a LOT less bandwidth alloted for upstream transmissions, so cable networks are a lot more sensitive to torrents

That's not as important as you might think. On DOCSIS 1.1 it's 38Mbits down/9Mbits up. On DOCSIS 2.0 it's 38/27. Even with DOCSIS 1.1 though it's not really a limitation because they typically have multiple upstream channels on the same node. In my area Roadrunner always uses the same channel/frequency for downstream (609mhz) but they have multiple upstream channels on each node that the cable modems are randomly assigned to. My neighbor is connected to the exact same cable drop as I am -- yet her modem is on a different upstream channel then mine is.

I can certainly see their complaint.

I can see their complaint too, but they need to be investing in upgrades. They don't have an interest in doing that though because the next killer-app on the internet is going to be video that directly competes with their own video offerings. They'll try to kill it by instituting bandwidth caps (like Time Warner is trying to do) and when that fails they will offer a "video-grade" service that costs a shitload more then a regular internet connection.

Where would the internet be if nobody had invested in upgrading beyond dialup technology?

Not traffic shaping (5, Informative)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407362)

For the trillionth time...what Comcast SAYS they are doing is NOT what they are doing. Traffic shaping is fine, as long as it does not differentiate by source. Even if they were just throttling or "slowing down" bittorrent, it wouldn't be nearly as bad as what they are doing. They are doing man-in-the-middle attacks on bittorrent connections, and actively impersonating one of the parties in the connection. This is actually illegal.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (1)

lucky130 (267588) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407386)

Maybe they shouldn't advertise speeds they can't deliver (and people pay for). Personally, I consider it false advertising.

And in my area, I have no alternative (too far away to get decent DSL); it's more of an excuse to extort customers and not have to upgrade their lines to handle the advertised bandwidth.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (2, Informative)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407440)

obviously you aren't a comcast subscriber then. I've been dealing with this shit for about a year now.

Comcast sends fake packets to both the sending and receiving end of the transmission telling the programs that the other end has closed transmission. AKA, my upload speeds are virtually 0. well, when you don't upload, you can't download as fast. I'd love to host a torrent for a while to help keep the torrent network alive, but how can i do that if my upload ability is non-existant.

Next, my web surfing is severely limited when downloading torrents now. It takes a few minutes to load my email while DLing a torrent, no matter what the speed. Hell, it doesn't matter whether I download and surf on the same computer or not, the speed is still shit. I didn't have this problem before when i had adelphia (which comcast bought out).

I pay for UNLIMITED service. Unlimited means that there shall be no limits. Either give me that, or charge me less.

The funny thing is, the day that the FCC or whoever said they were going to investigate comcast's throttling, they had stopped. It soon resumed, but they stopped for a few days.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407002)

That's the current law, bought by telcos. Isn't it obvious they now want to buy an update so that they can oversell their precious bandwidth even MORE? "Clogging the tubes" yeah, right.

Answer to Comcast : Light up some tiny fraction of dark fiber, you racketeering gluttonous parasites. Bandwidth might be expensive ONCE, but traffic is FREE forever after.
Maintenance costs? Yeah, $1/yr per customer and that's much. But, aren't you charging by the *month*? That's what I call continuous price-gouging.

Free, free, free. It's all free. Airwaves, what REALLY prevents me from tuning a device to what freq I want, and emit/receive on that? Nothing. Nothing at all whatsoever.

It's Free. Fuck regulations, fuck ISPs, fuck them all. I want it all, now, free. The Right Price is Fucking Zero.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (-1, Flamebait)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407072)

Why shouldn't they be protected from the actions of scumbags? Do you suggest they just close off those ports instead of throttling the usage of a few to benefit the rest of their customers?

Or do you think your desire to illegally download movies outweighs rights of those who wish to engage in legal usage?

Oh, I know. Maybe they should modify their acceptable use and terms of services so people who download illegal items must pay one dollar a kilobyte.

You are a selfish asshole.

They should stop overselling their capacity... (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407406)

...and otherwise refrain from censoring the internet activities of their users. Acceptable ways to achieve this:

2) Change the terms of service so they clearly state a guaranteed minimum throughput. Do not sell more connections than you can provide with the minimum throughput.

2) Change the terms of service to some model with limited volume, charge those who exceed it per gigabyte. This does not absolutely prevent network congestion, but cost considerations will make most high volume users back off. In areas where people are not deterred (rich filesharers?) use the extra income to upgrade the network.

Re:If comcast want'sto do this (3, Insightful)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407242)

I don't think that makes any sense. I will stop kids from smoking crack in my living room, but if I don't notice it, it's still their bad, not mine.

The only problem with this is that consumers don't really have any choice in internet providers. Comcast should be allowed to do whatever the hell it wants with its business, slowing down pink pictures and speeding up blue ones if it likes. So long as the customers know what they are getting and have a choice.

The whole problem is that there really is no market (which is also why these networks are so easily overwhelmed). It's time to dereg all local cable monopolies.

Slowdown (4, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406796)

>Comcast... purposely slows down some traffic on its network, including some music and movie downloads...

Perhaps Comcast will experience a 'slowdown' in its profits...

At least it's all coming out in the open, instead of the issue being met with bland denials.

Re:Slowdown (3, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406854)

It would be great if it hits their bottom line. Except for many people the choice is between Comcast broadband, AOL dialup, or no internet. Which do most people choose?

Re:Slowdown (2, Informative)

fohat (168135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406990)

Perhaps people have more choices than they are aware. For example, my friend is in an area where comcast has not run their cables and he's too far from the Central Office for DSL. Therefore he called Sprint and obtained a broadband wireless card which is plugged directly into a router (no laptop required). Granted the speed isn't as fast as Comcast, however he gets about 1 Megabit down and 600 Kilobits per second upspeed regularly (with very few connection interruptions). There's also Satellite internet (which of course is a bit more restricted than most people like).
So there are viable alternatives to Cable Internet, although they can be slightly more expensive.

Re:Slowdown (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407214)

There are many places with no choices at all. I'm 10 minutes from the state capital in Richmond, VA. I had no possible choice for anything other than dial-up until Comcast finally offered broadband in 2001, a few years after all my friends had it. Due to the James River and whatever weirdnesses exist in the Verizon planning office, I'm too far from the CO for regular DSL and might have been able to get ADSL, but even with other companies that offered it, that was doubtful. For me, it was either Comcast or nothing until Verizon rolled out FiOS in this area in December and I switched immediately.

Until then, considering that I transferred data to my customers over Internet and did download a lot of Linux distro CDs and downloaded a lot of old time radio shows (and *never* allowed any file sharing or what could be called illegal traffic on my line), I stayed paranoid and alert so I didn't fall victim to Comcast's limited/unlimited cutoff notices. I've talked with the local Comcast office a number of times. Most of the people there have been there when it was AT&T and even before that. They're good people and want to do well, but a lot of what they'd like to do is blocked by Comcast and their policies. I told them they might want to let their mothership know they were losing a 21+ year customer (way back to Continental Cable in this area) because of their Internet policies like the bandwidth games. The local people wanted to do what they could to keep me, but couldn't stop Comcast's vague bandwidth and p2p interference games.

Oh, and I told them one small reason, but a contributing factor was that I had been asking for Boomerang on cable for years, but it wasn't on. Their response? "Yes, that is one of our most requested channels." I said, "If it's so requested, why don't you have it?"

Re:Slowdown (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407366)

So there are viable alternatives to Cable Internet

Neither one of those options you provided is "viable" if you want to stream video or use VoIP. Streaming video will often require more then 1Mbit (Netflix goes up to 2.2Mbits for the highest quality -- just wait for HDTV and that will probably be 8Mbits or more) and the latency on either of those solutions is usually too high to work effectively for VoIP.

Re:Slowdown (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406866)

That's just the thing though...it's not coming out in the open. Numerous studies have shown that they are in fact BLOCKING some types of traffic, which is backed up by countless consumer complaints both online and in print.

Comcast seems to be hoping that your average everyday joe says "oh, they are just slowing it" and that be the end of it. Well, when downloading one version of Ubuntu was nearly 500k a second and then a few months later the next version downloaded at 2 KB per second from my house and roughly 400 KB from the same torrent at a friend's house that DIDN'T have comcast...yeah. I've seen it first hand. This isn't delaying or throttling...this is damn near blocking.

Besides, injecting their own packets into the communication between my computer and another computer...shit, if I did that to two random people, I would be brought up on criminal charges.

Re:Slowdown (3, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407052)

A few years back, I could see that Comcast was blocking VPN traffic. The block was such that the VPN session would be set up, but then the actual traffic would be blocked (different protocols). I could be certain that that the traffic was blocked because I could use tcpdump at both ends. I called them and they denied the block, but a few days later, my VPN started working again.

Re:Slowdown (2, Informative)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406944)

Perhaps Comcast will experience a 'slowdown' in its profits...

That said, FiOS can't be rolled out fast enough. Sadly, most people have either cable or DSL and sometimes only cable as a choice for broad band.

I'd love to vote with my wallet, but its either them or dial up.

Re:Slowdown (2, Insightful)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407016)

Perhaps Comcast will experience a 'slowdown' in its profits...

That said, FiOS can't be rolled out fast enough. Sadly, most people have either cable or DSL and sometimes only cable as a choice for broad band.

What makes you think Verizon (or whomever) won't throttle traffic on a FiOS network in the same way?

-a

Re:Slowdown (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407112)

Perhaps Comcast will experience a 'slowdown' in its profits...


That said, FiOS can't be rolled out fast enough. Sadly, most people have either cable or DSL and sometimes only cable as a choice for broad band.


One of my friends who works for Comcast tells me Comcast at large is terrified of FIOS because they are rapidly losing their local television monopolies and FIOS is simply a better product when it comes to bandwidth delivery.

I use Bittorrent a couple of times a month to download Linux distributions, and also use it to download things like Autopatcher (I know, the torrents are out of date and I need to look into building it myself but ANYHOW. . . ) -- you know, legitimate traffic. I don't even bother with downloading television episodes any more.

Re:Slowdown (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407154)

DSL isn't always that bad a choice. I'm getting 7Mb Down / 512 Kb up for cheap cheap thru my local phone company. Not too bad considering I live 50 miles away from the nearest large town.

Re:Slowdown (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406954)

Perhaps Comcast will experience a 'slowdown' in its profits...

You're hysterical! When people don't have much of a choice about what provider to get they're going to choose what's available and unfortunately for about 25 million people (and ~8 million of those for broadband), that's Comcast.

Nothing will come of any of this and just like the telecom immunity bullshit, this too will pass over Comcast w/o much more than a few news articles and possibly a rebate for one month at $5/subscriber while they continue to control their network as they see fit.

Re:Slowdown (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407492)

The fact that your outcome is more likely than the one I hoped for is depressing.

Comcast subscribers, particularly the more technically-adept ones, should give the FCC more input. A letter to your local congressional representative wouldn't hurt, either.

Re:Slowdown (3, Insightful)

jessiej (1019654) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407024)

I for one wouldn't want to pay for "High Speed Internet" that advertises 8 Mbps "with an extra burst of speed up to 12 Mbps when you're downloading large files like videos and games" (taken directly from a price quote on comcast.com) only to find that when I download those large files, the 12Mbps ends up being 3Mbps.

Sounds like very misleading advertising to me.

IT BITS VS BYTES MY MAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407490)

Re:Slowdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407326)

I really wish I could switch, but there is no choice here. Comcast has a monopoly in my market, so it's either them, dialup, or satellite.

And be assured, they are screwing with traffic. I had left my Fedora 8 DVD at work on Friday, and I needed to play with it over the weekend. So, Saturday morning, I figured something as simple as downloading the DVD would be no issue. With so many peers in the network I was easily hitting 900KB/s downloading it... for about 10 minutes, and then all traffic stopped. My regular internet worked fine, but all torrent traffic was halted for an hour. I then had to manually restart it, and it would be killed again after a few minutes. It took about 6 hours of testing in throttling my traffic in uTorrent (note that there's an about hour of dead time each time you go too high) before I realized that I had to throttle it below 150KB/s to keep from having it stopped. The ultimate effect was that a download that should've taken only 3 hours at full speed instead took nearly two days. By the time it finished Sunday afternoon, it was basically useless to me. I would've been better off just downloading it through HTTP than BT.

I did put my contact information in to Verizon, so once their service becomes available I will be switching over. I can't really complain to Comcast officially, as I really needed Fedora for business I was doing (writing a book chapter). They would just state that if it was business, then I would need a business account - blah blah blah.

Please Verizon, step up and help us Comcast users out :)

OK if they are up front about it (4, Insightful)

2phar (137027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406828)

This seems reasonable in principle.. but it should be made clear in the contract exactly what you are paying for.

There could ultimately be different subscription rates for how fast you want different types of traffic to go.

The problem is the issue of snooping on traffic and comcast being able to reliably decide what traffic is what class.

But what about the premise (1)

2phar (137027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407186)

If there isn't really a bandwidth problem though..

then this is just a fabricated excuse to encourage the idea that some types of 'usage' are most expensive to provide than others... which then ends up with an internet equivalent of long-distance phone charges. And look what a profit center that has been for the telcos, even though there is really no such a thing as long distance any more.

The sad state of things (4, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406832)

The situation in most places is unfortunately this: There is ONE cable company offering high speed access, and perhaps ONE dsl company that servers your next door neighbor but not you. Theres not enough competition yet, so these idiotic companies stay in business simply because they have a monopoly.

So, until that changes, theres no point in bitching and moaning every time some company admits to doing what we all know they are doing. You can always go back to dial-up...

Re:The sad state of things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407082)

theres no point in bitching and moaning

Of course there is! If no one complains then nothing will get better!

Before Comcast (or any business, for that matter) can respond to a problem, they must first know the problem exists. They must also be able to assess the severity of the problem and determine how it might impact their profits. Customer feedback is an important means for doing this.

So, we must bitch and moan. The more the better.

It would be *even better* if we could switch to another provider. That kind of impact would get an even faster response. But since, as you say, they are basically a monopoly, we have only two options: 1) bitch and moan, 2) pass laws to regulate their practices.

I, personally, would like to see more of both.

Re:The sad state of things (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407262)

indeed, but a t1 could be shared via wireless or other means between a bunch of neighbors. Where i am i can get a t1 for around $250 per mo split 6 ways that's less than comcast charges for their "ultra superfast basic broadband" :D

Most people won't even think of looking into these things i realize, but there are other options out there.

Re:The sad state of things (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407312)

Exactly, and furthermore the next time some third-world countries government (monopoly) opts for genocide, there's no point in bitching and moaning every time someone dies, you should just go live in a cave till its over...

There's only ONE Internet Cop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22406836)


In the United Gulags of America

Yours criminally,
George W. Bush [whitehouse.org]

Here we go again (5, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406846)

There's a world of difference between "slowing traffic down" and spoofing rst packets. I don't mind them slowing down huge downloads or whatever to allow faster web browsing. That's not the issue at hand. I can't use bittorrent to download legal torrents. *That* is the issue at hand.

Trying to change the subject isn't going to help them.

Anology (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406876)

Okay so using their logic, Bar owners can sell you half a beer and fill the rest with water because it "flows better"?

Other analogies, mine probably didn't work right, I'd still have beer farts in the morning?

Re:Anology (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406960)

Beer? The only beer analogy I want to see is a free one...

Now, can we make a car analogy? Like there are too many cars on the highway so we're going to send cops out at certain times to try to reduce traffic, but since there is only 1 highway all it does it slow traffic more...

Re:Anology (2, Insightful)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407066)

I liken this to a cell phone company which, when it is running low on capacity, listens in on calls and randomly drops conversations in languages other than english since they're probably discussing something illegal anyway.

Re:Anology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407076)

It's more like if cops started shooting random people at peak times, on the fastest lane.

Re:Anology (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407150)

Let me fix that for you:

"There's too much congestion on the road, so we're sending out cops to stop only the black people from driving on it." See? It's inflammatory, describes what they are doing (which is presuming some form of guilt based on stereotypes), and should hit pretty close to what the public views as "wrong." The only thing missing for accuracy's sake is to have the police stop all the black people, take them to jail and then call their friends and family on their behalf that they are "taking a vacation...forever..."

Re:Anology (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407350)

"There's too much congestion on the road, so we're sending out cops to stop only the black people from driving on it."

A better analogy and not as inflammatory is to stop old drivers, grey and blue hairs during rush hour because they putz along at 45 MPH in the fast lane which in turn causes other drivers either driving at exceeding the speed limit to change lanes and pass on the right, which in turn causes people drivings slow in the slow lane to brake for ass-hats passing in the right, which causes the blue hairs (remember them) to break because someone in the other lane hit their brakes which leads too ...

Well, you get the point.

The devil is in the details (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406912)

From TFA:

The FCC prohibits network operators from blocking applications but opens the door to interpretation with a footnote in a policy statement that provides for an exemption for "reasonable management."

So who determines what measures fall under the vague umbrella of "reasonable management"? Sure, Comcast can't block applications, but if they slow throughput from said applications down to a crawl, it constitutes a de facto block.

This should be interesting to watch unfold, especially since I myself use Charter. ^_^

If You Advertise and Sell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22406932)

a specific bandwidth, them you damned well better be able to support it. Otherwise, that is fraud. Further, I should be able to do whatever the hell I want with it. If I pay for a certain bandwidth, then I should be able to use all that I pay for, 24/7.

Re:If You Advertise and Sell... (2, Informative)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406972)

They advertise *up to* a certain rate, they don't guarantee that you will get that rate, nor could they, transfer speed depends on things that are not all in their control, like the upload speed of the server your computer is downloading from.

Re:If You Advertise and Sell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407084)

They advertise *up to* a certain rate, they don't guarantee that you will get that rate, nor could they, transfer speed depends on things that are not all in their control, like the upload speed of the server your computer is downloading from.

But if I told you I'll give you up to a hundred dollars, and then give you a nickel, a bus token and some pocket lint because that's all I ever actually had in the first place, I'm sure you'd be sore. It's the things that ARE in their control that are the problem here, such as bothering to spend their profits on upgrading their infrastructure instead of ale and whores.

Re:If You Advertise and Sell... (1)

dasbush (1143709) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407030)

If Comcast states in the agreement that they monitor what the bandwidth is used for and that they throttle down whenever they deem it appropriate, it would not be fraud. It's only fraud if they mis-represent the truth in the contract, which they probably will not because they are coming clean.

WSJ doesn't get it. (4, Informative)

robkill (259732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406958)

It's distortions, statements, and mindsets like this [wsj.com] that have to be refuted.

From the editorial:

Big broadband companies are headed for a clash with Washington over whether consumers have a right to get as much as they want from the Internet, as fast as they want it, without paying extra for the privilege.
The editorial goes on to conflate neutral treatment of packets with "neutral pricing" (their term for flat rate).

Cue The Laugh Track (1, Offtopic)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406964)

These guys are killing me with their excuses as they do not want to scale up- or outward with their networks, instead staying oversold and overcapacity just to make their quarterlies.

For sheer PROFIT! They are willing to sacrifice QOS and customers just to make that little bar on their gross profit margins tick that much higher.

What kind of business are they in? One guess; SERVICE. In operating a customer service company, one always keeps in mind that you need to commit back into infrastructure and upgrades at least 3/4 of your monies and budgets to keep ahead of the curve. Comcast has not done so and now it's gotten them into hot water with both their custies and the fed, with this, Band-Aid they call "traffic management".

Re:Cue The Laugh Track (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407086)

I looked up Comcast [uncyclopedia.org] in the uncyclopedia. It says:

Comcast
From Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search
    This article may be Overly American. Brits may not understand humor, only humour. Don't change a thing to remedy this.

The red C of Comcast, along with the name of both the religion and the god, Comcast

"No block sync? No problem!"
~ The Comcast.net AI Chatbot on Home Networking

Comcast (formely Comca$$$t)is a monotheistic religion in which the only god is Comcast. A company that has a name rhyming with Comcast is known for its game show Jack My Price Up.
There is, of course, more there. Or maybe less if somebody's edited it.

Re:Cue The Laugh Track (1)

strikeleader (937501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407374)

Comcast is getting its cue from the oil industry. There is no need to update its infrastructure and improve its service when they can just keep using to same old stuff (as in oil refineries) and charge more because they say that the demand is larger than the supply that they can provide. And because of the high demand they "must" throttle the band with to the evil file sharers.

What is the web? (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406976)

consumer groups and some Internet companies argue that the networks should not be permitted to block or slow users' access to the Web

It's precisely so that what most users ARE trying to do (access "the web") will continuie to work that some giant, bandwidth-hogging apps are throttled. A crush of bittorrent traffic isn't, for most people, "the web." They want their mail to flow, and their CNN.com and facebook etc to work. The audience here on this message board are way, way outside the norm in terms of the type of traffic they'd rather burn bandwidth on. But here in my town yesterday and this morning, we had a nasty ice storm. I'm sure a lot of people were very glad to have a workable RDP session, and would certainly prefer that the chunk of router they're sharing with their fellow neighborhood broadband users didn't dry up because one kid three doors down is busy "sharing" his anime collection.

Games vs. Downloads (4, Insightful)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406978)

All the shrill and panicky anger I hear about this seems a bit suspect to me. Anyone who has studied operating system code should know that trade-offs are always required in the design of systems that manage a limited resource. If you are coding a scheduler [wikipedia.org] to manage access to the cpu, there is no perfect solution. You have to make decisions about when to run BIG jobs (like computing PI to the 6-millionth decimal place) and when to run small jobs (like responding to a keystroke).

Handling network traffic is an analogous situation. There are big jobs (e.g., transferring that multi-GB collection of secret MySpace photos) and there are small jobs (e.g., signalling a head-shot in a game of Counterstrike). In order to make room for the applications that need immediate response and low latency, you have to limit the big jobs so you have some overhead in which to move.

I hate my cable company as much as anybody does, but let's not fly off the handle until there is more damning evidence.

Re:Games vs. Downloads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407116)

so... you're saying that the kernel should SIGKILL your pi calculations as soon as you hit a key or move your mouse?

Re:Games vs. Downloads (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407258)

Please don't be obtuse. They are sending *RESET* packets. Sending a RST is *not* the same as bandwidth shaping.

I suppose it depends... (3, Insightful)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406998)

I will not fault a company that throttles some of its users in order to maintain the integrity of their service for all their customers. Provided that the contract/agreement states something about it and it is done blindy, not targeting specific users, then fine. The second they pick and choose who gets what and when(or what and at whos expense), then it becomes a real issue.

If you look at it from the point of view of the customer that got the bandwidth at the expense of the guy that got throttled, they are probably pretty happy about it. Again, provided it is permitted and a blind process which does not target individual users unfairly.

Because you're still sharing with others (3, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407012)

It didn't appear in the linked article but in this AP news article from Excite [excite.com], the following comment by Comcast stood out in my mind:


Comcast says it must curb some file-sharing traffic because some subscribers would otherwise hog the cables with their uploads and slow traffic in their neighborhood.

In other words, despite what Comcast and every other cable provider who offers high-speed access to the Net will have you believe, you are still sharing one line with all your neighbors. This is different than FiOS or other non-cable connections where you have your own line.

They'll never admit to it but their own comments prove otherwise.

Re:Because you're still sharing with others (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407204)

This is different than FiOS or other non-cable connections where you have your own line.
The way this was explained to me and I say it to other (and PLEASE correct me if I am wrong).
A cable modem, is a large pipe for a section and everyone in an area plugs into it and opens up as much as they use. So the up side is that you can get a very large amount at one time if you don't mind screwing everyone else. The downside is that you might be the one getting screwed. DSL on the other hand, you are given a much smaller pipe that is definite, but you're not effected by anyone else in the area with DSL taking up large amounts. Up side, you're golden for usage, downside, if you DO need large bursts you can't get it....

about right?

Re:Because you're still sharing with others (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407430)

That's my understanding as well. Cable = sharing a big pipe with others, fiber et al = smaller pipe dedicated to you.

Both have their merits but Comcast and others don't tell you that so you can get inconsistent speeds whereas with fiber and others, your speed is pretty much constant. They will claim this is no longer true but obviously it is.

Re:Because you're still sharing with others (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407454)

At some point there is going to be a bottle neck. There is an aggregation point. Whether that is in the field or at the central office makes no difference. I have a 20MB down/5MB Up FiOS connection. Let's say my CO has a single GB connection to the "cloud", that means at most 50 similar users could suck down 20 MB/s traffic before impacting others. It's a simple and largely inaccurate illustration, but the point is there will always be a bottle neck.

I haven't experience a particular performance hit because 1) rarely do I ever even get to 20Mb/s *ever* and two, there aren't that many people in the 'hood using FiOS. But if uptake increases, then aggregated performance will become a factor.

Re:Because you're still sharing with others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407504)

This is different than FiOS or other non-cable connections where you have your own line. Bzzt. You're the one falling for false advertising. If you're not sharing a connection, you're not on the internet.

Hrm... how come everyone's after Comcast... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407026)

But not Time-Warner [slashdot.org] for doing similar things? And shouldn't things be worse when you hobble competition to promote your own services [slashdot.org]?

What Comcast is doing is bad. But if they're injecting RST packets indiscriminately (i.e., on long-lived connections, be them VPN, SSH, long downloads, etc), that's far less offensive than what TW is doing. Yet the FCC is only going after Comcast?

First post (5, Funny)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407054)

First post man, woot, woot, wo**** *** Post intercepted by Comcast bandwidth preservation system! ACK*Metacheck - Checking for music, video, first post messages... DELAY*Post... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Service now resuming

By all means... (1)

ProteusQ (665382) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407078)

Let's convert our interstate system over to a system of privately owned roads, and let middle managers decide on the speed limit and tolls as they see fit. Better yet, we'll let all of the road providers merge into two or three corporations so we can be gouged more easily. And if we have non-authorized purchases in our trunk (say, from the Pirate States of Canada), the corporate cops will have the right to confiscate our vehicle.

And then we hit the sidewalk fees....

"Sorry, all bandwidth used up" (5, Insightful)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407096)

Comcast: Sorry, our video-on-demand has used up all of the bandwidth. You can't watch that video-over-ip site now. Have you thought about getting a digital dvr from comcast? And while you're at it, why not a digital phone? We know you've been having problems with Skype...

Just Another Symptom... (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407102)

Just another symptom of the internet becoming popular and any moron being able to download anything they want. I remember when finding a pirate download source took a little effort and know-how. Now anyone can find just about anything they want, and because of this they take and take without contributing whatsoever, all the while complaining that the product "wont work 4 me!!!11".

Thanks torrents!

The Slippery Slope (1)

Timinithis (14891) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407188)

I have used torrents, both for legit and gray-area use, I use the oldest "usernet" for things, and I spend my time watching Netflix on demand on my second monitor.

I noticed that as I was watching one tv series, that I could watch 1 or 2 episodes, then I would start getting "Your internet connection has slowed" and Netflix would start taking 2+ hours to buffer a 24 minute tv episode. Nothing else was affected, I could yank a 300MB Service Pack from M$, use a direct link to pull down a distro (can't use a torrent or P2P for that), and my speed tests showed I Was getting the 16MB down that I am paying for, but I could not get another tv episode to download/stream.

My first reaction was that it was Comcast, since they are throttling P2P traffic, but I found threads online where other people that were non-comcast users had the same problem and they attributed it to the "opening of the doors" on the in-demand video.

Comcast has crossed the line, and if I had another choice -- I call Verizon once a week, and now I am going to call them once a day -- I would leave them immediately. I need the bandwidth for remote desktop/VPN connections to our offices in other parts of the country; I could care less for the TV programming, I can grab the episodes time-shifted from online. Currently I don't feel guilty for that since I am paying the cable bill for TV.

I hope that the FCC is watching this, and since I am in DC, if I find out when the hearings are, I will take a day off and go down to try and voice my displeasure at the way things are being handled by Comcast.

I am paying for bandwidth, and I expect to have it. If you don't have enough to meet the demand, ADD MORE -- it is what the stores do on hot items..they get more in of what people want. Is that a hard concept? I know you can't "make" more bandwidth, but you can start cutting the ratio of customers to available bandwidth and certainyl stop over selling. What this tells me is that there is enough demand that they can move to a more reasonable ratio (1:15 ain't it) and still make money. What they are going to have happen now, is folks will leave and they will be out that revenue..they will get the bandwidth back, but what good is product that stays on the shelf? If it doesn't sell, it isn't making you money.

Comcast want's to be the net police, then the FCC should let them, and arrest every executive the minute someone on the Comcast network is charged with something illegal like child pornography -- you wanted to filter your traffic, and you failed to catch this, so you are charged as an accessory! I bet their lawyers will be all over "Net Neutrality" then. Until something affects the company/executives' money/livelihood, they will try and take as much liberty with their revenue stream as possible.

I say let them "filter", adjust bandwidth, or what ever "friendly" term they want to use;but also make them liable for any illegal activity that occurs on their network.

I know, reading the article is bad, BUT (1)

eclectic_hermit (1232884) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407192)

The bill that is being introduce by Rep. Edward J. Markey will not accomplish a lot and seems redundant at this point. Even sadder (IMHO)is the fact that in the article these two paragraphs were in consecutive order. Here they are (ephemisis mine):

.

The FCC prohibits network operators from blocking applications but opens the door to interpretation with a footnote in a policy statement that provides for an exemption for "reasonable management."

.

and

.

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, plans to introduce a bill today calling for an Internet policy that would prohibit network operators from unreasonably interfering with consumers' right to access and use content over broadband networks.

.

So, what exactly will this bill acomplish. And, if this bill is introduced, would it not (likely) conflict with the anti-piracy initiatives that are being proposed?

.

I have no problem at all with the ISP's blocking and/or managing traffic. However, in doing so they should no longer be granted the immunities that the (*) "common carrier status" provides.

.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_Act_of_1934 [wikipedia.org] (amended in 1996)

Violates net neutrality? (1)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407206)

I'm not sure that traffic shaping like this violates network neutrality. It would be different if they were to throttle iTunes and favor some Comcast music service, but this is more targeted at high-bandwidth traffic that could make it hard for some subscribers (like me) to VPN into work and do some casual surfing.

Of course it might be better if they had clear bandwidth/month caps and charged a bit more for higher bandwidth usage, then used the profits from the beefed-up service plans to expand their infrastructure. But this is less bad than, say, throttling YouTube because it competes with cable programming.

Lost it (1)

dippitydoo (1134915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407210)

I lost my internet and cable TV because I was "Downloading" too much. They wouldn't tell me how much. They just cut off my service. So now, I don't have internet or tv. And I'm happy with that. I spend more time with the family now. I thought I bought an "Unlimited" service. They told me the INTERNET was unlimited, but NOT THE BANDWIDTH. Not sure what that means. I'm boycotting those bastards. I tell everyone not to use them. Why should I pay 55 bucks a month if I can't do what I want on the net? The USofA is free-falling. I'm saving the money I WOULD be spending on TV and INTERNET and buying stuff to stay afloat when the economy finally dies. It's not IF, it's WHEN. Our rights are gone...

Sue. (1)

leftie (667677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407390)

Google "class action comcast." There's 260,000 hits. Everyone and their brother is filing class action suits against comcast. Bound to be one you can add your name to.

Slowing down traffic (4, Interesting)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407254)

Comcast is taking over my current cable provider, which is a less than pleasing fact given all the news about them lately. Still, I don't have a problem with them slowing down certain traffic, so long as certain conditions are met:

1. They clearly disclose their policies about slowing traffic.
2. They don't discriminate by specific domains, IPs, or traffic content. They should only discriminate by broad categories, such as prioritizing all http traffic over all p2p traffic.
3. They don't interfere with packets, drop them, or modify them. They don't force connections to end as they have been accused of lately. They apply a speed limit and that is it.
4. They only limit speeds when necessary based on network traffic. If the network can handle the current traffic load, don't slow anything down.

It makes sense that perhaps my p2p download (of linux isos of course) shouldn't slow my neighbors' web surfing to a crawl. But it shouldn't be restricted if there is plenty of bandwidth available. And the Comcast Sports website definitely should have no advantage over espn.com.

Yet another reason... (1)

Teflon_Jeff (1221290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407296)

And this is Why I use a DSL line. Dedicated connection, and no one trying to screw with my traffic. (at least, not yet)

Re:Yet another reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407478)

Bull... AT&T does play with the lines, or will be soon....http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:QncFEl_qgkIJ:www.downloadsquad.com/2008/01/09/atandt-openly-says-it-may-filter-internet-content/+at%26t+filter+content&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us

Comcast is 20% okay (1)

jeffmock (188913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407298)

Comcast probably should be allowed to sell whatever product they think will do well in the market (provided that they adhere to whatever consent decree they signed to get the geographic monopoly). On the other hand, they shouldn't be a mysterious black box that sometimes passes packets unmolested.

If you ask me, the essence of net neutrality should be that an IP provider precisely document what they do to their traffic, and provide a mechanism for users to easily understand when traffic is blocked, altered, or re-prioritized.

Other than that, I'm basically okay with cable companies offering screwed up IP products, it's all part of the big Darwinian product stew and the free market will take care of it. The place for public policy is making sure there's no big mystery about what they do to my packets.

jeff

They have a responsibility as a monopoly to (2, Informative)

TXISDude (1171607) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407300)

provide acceptable levels of service for all of their customers. Yes, they are a monoploy, because Cable franchises are awarded by area and for the vast majority of customers there are no real alternatives. I live in a major city (Houston) and because of where I live, I have 1 choice for high speed internet - cable. DSL is "coming soon", as is fiber and other options, but right now - if I want high speed internet I have cable. And there the city/state has decided who my provider is going to be. It used to be Time Warner, but they swapped turfs with Comcast recently in Texas and I became a Comcast customer - not by choice, but by governmental decision. Just like the old days of the regulated telephone monopoly, the customer is not free to choose, and hence to maintain some level of accountability in a closed market - regulation is required. If it were a free market, different rules could apply, but it is not a free market, and the cable companies know that. They will try to do whatever they can to maximize profits in their closed markets, and it is up to government regulators to look out for customer interests. Unfortunately, this isn't happening. Two real choices: 1) open cable up to complete free and open competition - each consumer can choose their own provider. Unfortunately for technical reasons, this really isn't very easy, or possible to do. 2) Regulate the monopoly, with appropriate rules on service, pricing, availability. The problem here is one of who decides the "appropriate" aspect, and on that issue our government regulators have been woefully inadequate. Time for public utility boards to stand up and do their jobs.

QoS is a lie. (2, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407310)

I think there were studies done to show that using QoS on an ISP level is not cost effective compared to just upgrading to more capacity. On an ISP level, you just got to have the equipment necessary to handle the traffic on your network, there is no working around of that. Comcast must know this, so they have an ulterior motive in pushing QoS and differentiationg content from content. They might use this as a prelude to introduce tiered pricing. This just goes to show why net neutrality is necessary.

Traffic Lights on the Information Superhighway? (0, Redundant)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407340)

Comcast argues that it should be able to direct traffic
I like traffic lights
I like traffic lights
I like traffic lights
No matter where they've been
I like traffic lights
I like traffic lights
I like traffic lights
I like traffic lights
I like traffic lights
But only when they're green

Interesting (3, Interesting)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407346)

I would find it very interesting to see a major digital content provider sue Comcast for interfering with their ability to conduct business with the end consumer. If Comcast is degrading consumers' ability to enjoy digital content, much of which is surely provided legally and via commercial transaction, I would think that would be viewed as illegal. Of course, I am not a student of business nor law so I could well be wrong, but it would certainly be interesting to see some major content providers take exception to Comcast messing with their bottom line.

Statement invalid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407394)

"Comcast argues that it should be able to direct traffic so networks don't get clogged;"

The users pay for bandwith, and they state that by using this bandwidth they're clogging the networks? What are the users paying for, then?

Comcast brand band-aids (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407420)

Comcast is making the mistake that many companies managers make: Not scaling up infrastructure. My company is recovering from this sort of shortsightedness right now... We added 35% more employees but didn't grown bandwidth on the WAN even one iota... Now everything is slow and voice-calls are starting to drop (despite fairly aggressive compression and QoS) and they're looking at band-aids like the Riverbed Steelhead, which does TCP optimization and "accelerates" your WAN... Because its cheaper to buy a dozen of those appliances today and appear to be "solving the problem" than to ask their superiors, up front, for tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands more dollars per year in recurring bandwidth charges. This way they can appear to be exploring the more "economical" solution and if they end up having to do the build-out anyway, so what? They'll just make sure the build-outs go on their employee goals/perf review and rake in lucrative, monstrous bonuses for completing them.

Dear Comcast (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407446)

I have dial-up at $7/month and high-speed access at work if ever a large file needs downloading. How do you plan to win my business? It only takes a little "know how" to make dial-up more than sufficiently speed for email and web browsing. I don't care much for watching videos and audio will actually download fast enough. Since you block anything that a premium subscriber might have interest in, what is the appeal of your service?

Next Headline.... (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407506)

Comcast defends role in Internet based copyright theft: legal team claiming common carrier status not revoked by packet based filtering.

Film at eleven (if we get rebroadcast rights)
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