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Competitors Ally With Comcast In FCC P2P Filings

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the shoulder-to-shoulder dept.

Government 220

crocoduck writes "Right before the deadline passed for filing comments in the FCC investigation of Comcast's traffic-management practices, telecoms and other cable companies submitted a slew of comments defending Comcast's actions to the FCC. 'Just about every big phone company has filed a statement challenging the FCC's authority to deal with this problem. AT&T, Verizon, and Qwest all submitted lengthy remarks on February 13th, the last day for comments on the proceeding (parties can still reply to comments through the 28th). "The Internet marketplace remains fundamentally healthy, and the purported 'cure' could only make it sick," AT&T's filing declared. "At best, the network-management restrictions proposed by Free Press and others would inflict wasteful costs on broadband providers in the form of expensive and needless capacity upgrades — costs that would ultimately be passed through to end users, raise broadband prices across the board, and force ordinary broadband consumers to subsidize the bandwidth-hogging activities of a few."' P2P fans have also weighed in."

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Needless? (5, Interesting)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480230)

"expensive and needless capacity upgrades" which the US Taxpayers ALREADY PAID FOR THROUGH EXCISE FEES?!

The telcos can eat a bag of dicks.

Watershed Moment (4, Insightful)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480348)

The FCC faces this choice:

Take a step towards unrestricted bandwidth, build a new economy based on the innovative development of new business models using this bandwidth as a utility.

Or

Allow the telecommunications oligopoly to produce a network ghetto, stove-piped and metered, and watch the US economy stagnate, and fall behind the rest of the developed world.

Re:Watershed Moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480538)

watch the US economy stagnate, and fall behind the rest of the developed world

This has already happened =(

Re:Watershed Moment (5, Funny)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481012)

watch the US economy stagnate, and fall behind the rest of the developed world

This has already happened =(
Hey! No spoilers... I'm still waiting for the download to finish!
=Smidge=

Re:Watershed Moment (0, Troll)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480626)

Take a step towards unrestricted bandwidth, build a new economy based on the innovative development of new business models using this bandwidth as a utility.


Utility... like electricity? You mean pay for what you use? *gasp*

Really, this is the only sane solution. Make the "hogs" pay for what they use. End of story (and mot of the hogs).

-matthew

Re:Watershed Moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480926)

I'm one of those 'hogs' that use a lot of bandwidth for many purposes.

When I pay for a service that claims 'unlimited' internet access, I'd say I've payed quite enough. Don't give me shit because *gasp* Comcast doesn't (or can't) give me what I payed for.

Re:Watershed Moment (2, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481470)

When I pay for a service that claims 'unlimited' internet access, I'd say I've payed quite enough. Don't give me shit because *gasp* Comcast doesn't (or can't) give me what I payed for.
To me, it seems like one of the roots of the problem is that Comcast et al are using false advertising. If there are caps, they should say so up front, before you pay anything. If they're blocking some services, they should say so up front, before you pay anything.

The other problem is that the FCC seem to be a terrible regulator. A bigger display of craven grovelling in the general direction of those that are supposed to be regulated I've not seen since, well, ... Hmm, I can't think of anything right now that's not contemporaneous. Help me out here!

Re:Watershed Moment (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481688)

Even if they advertise truthfully, in many areas they have a complete and total monopoly - often enforced by state utility laws.

Re:Watershed Moment (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481124)

i am fine with this.. BUT.. it has to be within reason.. the transfers would need to be based on cost (like route costs)... if it is iner node traffic it can count as next to nothing.. if it is inter area traffic allittle more.. innetwork alittle more and outside network alittle more.. and i better not be paying a damn 50$ connection charge.

oh and it sure as hell shouldn't be advertized as "Unlimited" i don't give a shit what the fine print says..

if they want to follow up on these comments.. they need to put some damn numbers on these things.. so that people can see what they get for their money.

Re:Watershed Moment (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481128)

Utility... like electricity? You mean pay for what you use? *gasp*
Big difference here. Power companies don't advertise their service as unlimited.

Re:Watershed Moment (4, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481248)

They are the ones advertising the connection as unlimited. Not our fault that we have a dictionary.

Re:Watershed Moment (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481438)

I'm really having a hard time seeing how preventing Timmy from downloading the latest movies at a bujillion MB a second is going to cause the economy to stagnate.

Or put in a less inflammatory way, how preventing or slowing some P2P operations or otherwise using some QoS methods is going to cause any disastrous effect. Part of the problem I have in seeing it is I don't see the importance of the people having very high speed broadband.

Re:Watershed Moment (1)

funaho (42567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481654)

What happens when you can watch all your movies, on your TV, streamed from the net? Apple seems to be trying to push things in this direction with the AppleTV. I think this is really what the game is really all about. These guys don't want to be cut out of the loop when it comes to who provides your entertainment. Right now they have you locked in, as you usually have a choice of OTA, one cable company or a couple of sat companies. Eventually this list is going to grow to include dozens of online providers, and what then? Maybe you won't need that $100+ cable anymore, or maybe you at least stop using their pay-per-view service. It's just like the RIAA/MPAA, trying desperately to prevent an inevitable paradigm shift.

Agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480676)

Classicly justifing the unjustifiable:
"At best, the network-management restrictions proposed by Free Press and others would inflict wasteful costs on broadband providers in the form of expensive and needless capacity upgrades -- costs that would ultimately be passed through to end users, raise broadband prices across the board, and force ordinary broadband consumers to subsidize the bandwidth-hogging activities of a few."

It does not matter. If I want to hog bandwith and max out my line constantly, because as a consumer who pays for the service;I have the right to do that. I pay for a service that guarantees bandwith and availabiliy and I should damn well get it.

What if cops manually slowed down people on the road because they were going to fast? Sounds great..! until you realize people now have complete control over your lives. What Commiecast is doing is beyond excusable.

As usual though, money, special intrests, big corporations; all much more imporatant that anyones privacy.

Re:Agreed (1)

tabytomcat (1142109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481090)

If you bothered to read the agreement you signed with Comcast you would realise that they ,like probably every other ISP, have the right to shape traffic as they see fit.

And, just because your car can go 200 mph down the middle of the road doesn't give you the right, you have the responsibility to share the road with everyone.

Now take a deep breath, say to your self 'Shit, I'm a moron', go outside, and get a life, and enjoy.

COMCAST IS GAY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22481552)

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE BUTT FUCKED BY A MEAT CLEAVER

I DRIVE VERY FAST MISTER; MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT

"
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Re:Needless? (1)

anti-human 1 (911677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481092)

The telcos can eat a bag of dicks.
That's fine and all, but Dick's [ddir.com] is a great thing to have a bag of, and then subsequently shove down your throat. Perhaps you just need to expand your horizons?

Unlucky for me, I won't be back in Seattle for a few months.

Google Maps link? Why not? [google.com]

Needless capacity upgrades? (4, Insightful)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480236)

The "capacity upgrades" are obviously needed if you're having problems with "the bandwidth-hogging activities of a few."

Shut up, cut your salaries for a couple quarters, and invest in the goddamn infrastructure.

Re:Needless capacity upgrades? (4, Informative)

msobkow (48369) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480288)

The United States has been falling behind on the capacity game for a long time now, so it only makes sense that the ISPs and telcos there are crying the blues about the need for upgrades. Had they been upgrading all the way along as other countries have, they wouldn't have the capacity shortfall that they do now.

I deal with SaskTel as my ISP. We actually get the full use of the provisioned bandwidth as promised, with no filtering, traffic shaping, or other artificial impediments. The downside? My internet connection costs $45/month instead of $22 for the basic "DSL Lite" subscription.

Re:Needless capacity upgrades? (4, Informative)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480324)

The downside? My internet connection costs $45/month instead of $22 for the basic "DSL Lite" subscription.
Downside?! That's less than Comcast!

Re:Needless capacity upgrades? (1)

AxemRed (755470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481400)

I have Comcast, and it costs $45 a month.

Re:Needless capacity upgrades? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480578)

Shit, if I could get broadband, any broadband, at $22/mo I'd have it made. I'm paying like $30 for AT&T's 1.5 megabit bullshit. And no there are no better deals in my area.

Re:Needless capacity upgrades? (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481266)

Google DSL Extreme.

Re:Needless capacity upgrades? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22481578)

[i]internet connection costs $45/month instead of $22 for the basic "DSL Lite" subscription.[/i]

Dude... my internet connection costs $53 for 3M/368K (I have rarely seen it get to the promised 5Mb). And Charter is the best we have! Comcast, and AT&T both suck. The former offers little to no value, and AT&T has the better system (ADSL), but offers a negative value (I don't have a landline, and am not their target audience. In fact, they even stopped sending me offers a few months ago.).

But considering the situation, I love Charter, they don't seem to have started doing anything stupid yet. All my friends hate Comcast now, but for some, the only other option is AT&T. Such a sad state of affairs here in the US.

Yep (4, Funny)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480242)

I've gotta go with AT&T on this one. Allowing people to use their connections without restrictions would create a need for needless capacity upgrades.

Re:Yep (1, Informative)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480566)

Why is this marked "Funny" exactly? I think this problem is indeed about the few people trying to max out their "unlimited" connections, and the rest of us paying for it.

Remember that cartoon joke about Dilbert's dad spending 20 years at an all-you-can-eat buffet because he was not done yet? Who do you think was paying for it.

and force ordinary broadband consumers to subsidize the bandwidth-hogging activities of a few
is how they put it. In other words, if you need to consume 160 GB/month perhaps what you need is a dedicated line, not residential cable.

Re:Yep (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480678)

Because of his play on words:

...a need for needless capacity...

Re:Yep (5, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480798)

The same could be said about all those jerks that want graphics sent across their internet connections. Really what needs to be done is to get us back to only sending green screen updates. All that wasteful html traffic has just caused needless upgrades. If you need to consume more than a what a 1200 baud modem can offer, perhaps what you need is a dedicated line. Not a consumer internet connection.

Look, it was no secret as to what Comcast was jumping into when they decided to get into the internet business. In fact it seems pretty obvious that they were quite clear on the fact that bandwidth would keep increasing to the point that people would just get their video directly from the source, instead of paying them to be a gatekeeper middleman. What they were hoping for was that they could use their monopoly power to stifle the internet so that their monopoly would not crumble in face of actual competition. So far they have been successful. Now that people are starting to cry foul, they are trying to pretend that they are the victims.

It always amazes me how many people will defend someone who is clearly trying to screw them.

It goes further (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481658)

When you see the "metered" services, they become a joke. I have a friend who got a Verizon internet card with his "Unlimited" (read: a couple gig/month before they threaten to kick you off the service) data plan.

First he noticed the gigs/month "hidden cap"... and realized he can't download his server backup (~2 gig once a month) over it without risking hitting that.

Then, for curiosity, he started up a 1-day track on his bandwidth usage, fired up just the basics (2 hours of WoW, plus ICQ/AIM left on, plus a couple hours of browsing). Grand total? The tier below the "unlimited" plan would have capped off in two weeks.

Yeah. That's what they all want to do. Rather than give the consumer what they pay for (and he's not being egregious by any means), they want to fuck them over. Those "needless and costly" upgrades are needed and costly because they never bothered to do proper sequential upgrades and routine maintenance the first time around, and just want to milk the consumers in the 90% of America where they have a sitting monopoly dry.

Remember: in 90% of America, you have a choice between ONE provider or dial-up, you don't even have dsl/cable competition. Every one of the companies deserves a fucking monopolistic abuse lawsuit.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480810)

Or you can seek help for that p0rn addiction... Just sayin'..

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480860)

gee asshole. i thought thats what my 'always on internet' was. dedicated.

yeah we're morons for actually using what we pay for on our UNLIMITED service.

die in a fire you fucking shill.

Re:Yep (1)

amirulbahr (1216502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481354)

In other words, if you need to consume 160 GB/month perhaps what you need is a dedicated line, not residential cable.
If you're paying for 160 GB/month, then 160GB/month is exactly what you are entitled to without malicious shaping of your data. If they can't offer that then they should not advertise it. If they advertise plans that "are not usable for p2p file sharing" I wonder how that will affect sales.

Re:Yep (2, Insightful)

ChaosDiscord (4913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481662)

"I think this problem is indeed about the few people trying to max out their "unlimited" connections, and the rest of us paying for it."

If they don't want people to think the connection is unlimited, maybe they should tell people about it up front. If they think that killing P2P connections during peak usage is a good idea for most people, maybe they should boldly tell their customers about this great feature instead of lying about it until confronted with evidence. They have shown themselves to be unworthy of trust. They deserve no sympathy.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480646)

I've gotta go with AT&T on this one. Allowing people to use their connections without restrictions would create a need for needless capacity upgrades.
Needless as in they would have to increase the bandwith to the NSA to equal the total bandwith everyone else has in order to fulfill their contractual obligations to enable the NSA to sniff any traffic they chose going through AT&T's network?

Did you read their "key points"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22481010)

Seriously, their "key points" against it were, when you get right down to it, nothing more than "P2P users are all pirates" and "other governments don't like copyright infringement."

Which is pretty pathetic when you get right down to it. Believe it or not, places like Japan actually have decent infrastructure. Of course, they actually used the money they got from the public to *build capacity*, rather than just bilking taxpayers.

Why Did They Wait Until The Last Day? (4, Funny)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480244)

That's what they get for throttling their own connections...

Re:Why Did They Wait Until The Last Day? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480482)

Why Did They Wait Until The Last Day?
Because they didn't want the public & think tanks to submit comments ripping apart or contesting their arguments.
Maybe the FCC needs the equivalent of an anti-sniping feature on their comment period.

Re:Why Did They Wait Until The Last Day? (4, Informative)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480562)

Because they didn't want the public & think tanks to submit comments ripping apart or contesting their arguments.


But... but...

(parties can still reply to comments through the 28th).

Re:Why Did They Wait Until The Last Day? (1)

allawalla (1030240) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481140)

They were procrastinating, just like anyone else reading slashdot.

Re:Why Did They Wait Until The Last Day? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481276)

Duh. You ALWAYS submit things on the last possible day, because that makes it look like you were working so hard on your well-reasoned and well-researched arguments that you were just barely able to slide in by the deadline. You can't just submit something two weeks early, because then everyone will think you just threw some crap together and ignore it.

Re:Why Did They Wait Until The Last Day? (1)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481332)

Thank Gord that's not how every industry works...

"Mr Dubany, we have your new heart, but we're not going to do the transplant until your current one actually craps out, so... don't go anywhere, ok?"

Western countries' telecoms seem crotchety (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480254)

In my experience in Eastern Europe, customers that heavily use bandwidth are the average customer. I know hardly a single household that doesn't massively download music and films. Nonetheless, the local ISPs can keep monthly fees down to what is even by local standards cheap, and people are increasingly getting fiber to their door. Funny how the U.S., that beacon of technological progress, is being outdone by some former Communist states.

Re:Western countries' telecoms seem crotchety (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480300)

Quite, and they sell it honestly. None of this "up to 24Mb" bollox, when your average download speeds struggle to reach 5. Bah.

Re:Western countries' telecoms seem crotchety (4, Informative)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480366)

In my experience in Eastern Europe, customers that heavily use bandwidth are the average customer. I know hardly a single household that doesn't massively download music and films. Nonetheless, the local ISPs can keep monthly fees down to what is even by local standards cheap, and people are increasingly getting fiber to their door. Funny how the U.S., that beacon of technological progress, is being outdone by some former Communist states.

You're right, and it's not funny, it's sad.

The US is falling more and more behind, while the telecoms have the gall to say things like:

"The Internet marketplace remains fundamentally healthy, and the purported 'cure' could only make it sick," AT&T's filing declared. "At best, the network-management restrictions proposed by Free Press and others would inflict wasteful costs on broadband providers in the form of expensive and needless capacity upgrades".

This is what happens when 'free market' monopolies are allowed to continue unchecked by a corrupt FCC.

The money goes straight into shareholder's pockets [cnn.com] , and almost nothing goes back into the network.

Re:Western countries' telecoms seem crotchety (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480982)

This is what happens when 'free market' monopolies are allowed to continue unchecked by a corrupt FCC.

I don't understand the quotes around free-market... It is a free market. Free markets are bad in the case of utilities however (see California, early 2000's).

Re:Western countries' telecoms seem crotchety (2, Insightful)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481204)

I'm pretty sure subsidies aren't included in the free market model. That's what makes this a "free market." It isn't decided by competition. The FCC is another nail in the coffin in that "free market."

Re:Western countries' telecoms seem crotchety (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481268)

Free markets are bad in the case of utilities however (see California, early 2000's).
There's a difference between deregulation and stupidity. There is no free market in the U.S. -- there is only a greater or lesser degree of regulation.

In fact, the problems in California were caused (primarily) by strict, government-induced price controls -- not exactly a free-market practice.

Re:Western countries' telecoms seem crotchety (2, Interesting)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481444)

In fact, the problems in California were caused (primarily) by strict, government-induced price controls -- not exactly a free-market practice.

Which is why the price of electricity spiked as it crossed the California border from Oregon, even though Oregon had all it could use? Face it, that tired excuse has never been true. The price controls were ridiculously high.

There is no free market in the U.S. -- there is only a greater or lesser degree of regulation.

Yeah. But that's a GoodThing(tm).

Re:Western countries' telecoms seem crotchety (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22481112)

ISPs, free market? The two are mutually exclusive. Look at all the subsidies those companies get from the government. If they didn't get those other companies might be capable of competing.

Re:Western countries' telecoms seem crotchety (1)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480378)

In Soviet Russia, customers throttle ISPs!

Re:Western countries' telecoms seem crotchety (2, Funny)

ardin,mcallister (924615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481016)

I think if I met the decision makers at Comcast, I'd probably throttle them... so i guess that would work in the USA too

i've said it before and i'll say it again... (4, Insightful)

lucky130 (267588) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480302)

If you can't provide the speeds you advertise, then don't advertise them.

Re:i've said it before and i'll say it again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480522)

I said this in the last story about this.

Directly challanging the filtering is not going to be effective. People need to represent this from end to end, including the advertising. If you advertise blazing speeds and unlimited internet, you better be prepared to provide something very close to that. Consumers and local officials making franshise agreements with the local monopoly carriers can not determine actual value and service levels based on these back room decisions to forge packets and artificailly block certain things. On one side Comcast is claiming the are upgrading and providing a certain level of service and behind the scenes, they are trying to make it look like they are by fooling the users. What happened to all of the grant money, tax breaks, agreements to increase bandwidth that we hear every two or three years?

Re:i've said it before and i'll say it again... (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480754)

If you can't provide the speeds you advertise, then don't advertise them.


Or continue to advertise high speeds and put something in the contract that says you will pay for what you use. Really, I don't know why this solution isn't as obvious to everyone else as it is to me.

-matthew

Lies, lies, lies. (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480310)

Tagged: LiesAndLiars

Seriously, if they were *just* throttling the connection, there wouldn't be a problem. They were basically "disconnecting" the file transfer. This is analogous to a telephone operator listening to your phone conversation & cutting you off if she doesn't like what you're talking about.

Re:Lies, lies, lies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480442)

To play devils' advocate for a moment, it's more like a telephone operator listening in on your phone conversation because you're a natterbags and won't get off the phone, & cutting you off if the conversation sounds like it could be about leisure (not work).
Why are people still putting up with this nonsense? I know, I know, no competition in some towns, but that can't possibly be ALL their customer base (if it were, other enterprising telecoms would look at the apparent boycott-where-possible, and move into these towns and claim 100% of the customers from said monopoly).

Re:Lies, lies, lies. (2, Interesting)

NMagic (982573) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480658)

Yes, you may have 2-3 options where you live for an isp. What if 2 of them do the same thing Comcast does, and the other is obscenely expensive? Most people don't even have 3 options. The point is, if Comcast is allowed this, what's to stop other isps? There's only more money to make, with less infrastructure costs. If this is allowed, then all telcos will follow suit, and we'll continue to fall behind other countries.

Re:Lies, lies, lies. (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481514)

Most people don't even have TWO options!

I do have two, but:

ADSL is: more expensive, MUCH slower (about 1/8th the nominal speed)
Cable is: optimum online, less expensive, faster, but throttle your bandwidth to almost nil if you upload at a continuous 11kBps for more than 24 hours (and to get it back to normal, you have to spend time in customer service hell - and if it happens too often, they drop you as a customer).

Two blocks away the cable provider is Time Warner. Two. Fucking. Blocks. The only reason we are limited to Optimum is because of stupid monopoly laws (those two blocks are the difference between Brooklyn and Queens where I live).

Time Warner didn't do the bullshit throttling. But hey, I can't choose to use them because.. idiotic NY legislature decided to legislate monopolies and stifle competition.

FiOS isn't available in my area yet - apparently all the young professionals moving into the area (northern bushwick bordering Ridgewood / Fresh Pond) haven't had a chance to tip the median household income to the point where verizon thinks it prudent to roll out there yet.

Once FiOS is rolled out more, the cable companies are going to have to do something to remain competitive - and they're scared shitless about it. Which is why they're trying to get this crap written in stone.

Re:Lies, lies, lies. (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480738)

Here's what you're missing. There really is no choice almost anywhere period, and additionally where are these new telcos supposed to pop up when there's a franchise controlling the last line? Hell, wireless would work if enough people have it...its not exactly "Everyone" in that category yet. If it were mesh? hell yes. /writes to local community who were too afraid to save money in that fashion yet again

Re:Lies, lies, lies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480786)

That's not just it. In order to "disconnect" the file transfer, they forged a packet. I don't see why this should be about P2P at all. This is about a business forging packets to increase profits. If they simply dropped or delayed packets, I wouldn't be so upset.

Re:Lies, lies, lies. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22481556)

Actually, a better analogy would be a telephone operator listening in to your phone conversation & getting the other person to hang up by pretending to be you.

Re:Lies, lies, lies. (1)

greenbird (859670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481626)

They were basically "disconnecting" the file transfer.

No. They were literally forging TCP packets.

This is analogous to a telephone operator listening to your phone conversation & cutting you off if she doesn't like what you're talking about.

A better analogy would be intercepting both sides of the call and having a fake voice that sounds just like the person you were talking to say they were through talking to you, goodbye.

Can't stop the signal, Mal (4, Insightful)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480316)

IMHO broadband providers either have their heads in the sand, or they're just trying to delay the inevitable. In surveys I've read the United States is far from being the world leader in broadband internet connectivity in speed, price, availability, or even customer service -- and I think they all know that as well as anyone else does, too. P2P isn't going away anytime soon; as we speak developers are working on ways to rewrite the bittorrent protocol to get around the DDoS attacks that companies like Comcast are using to hamstring it's users. Beyond that, the reality is that we live in a country where more and more people are using the Internet for surfing, gaming, telephone, email, downloading (completely legal, paid-for) movies, and in some cases for live-streaming content; bandwidth demands aren't going to ever go down, they're only ever going to go up, and they (ISPs) damn well know that too. Perhaps this is just their first volleys in a war they want to start, with their preferred end-result being tiered pricing based on monthly bandwidth usage, but again I say they must have their heads in the sand because nobody is going to sit still for that, either.

Re:Can't stop the signal, Mal (1)

SacredByte (1122105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481040)

DDoS attacks

Comcast was (is?) not doing a distributed denial of service attack against bit-torrent connections. They were doing a plain old Denial of Service.

A DDoS attack is where you get a bunch of nodes teaming up to take down another node--Computers 0-C team up to overwhelm computer F.

What Comcast was (is?) actually doing is using ONE machine to inject forged RST packets into the data streams to both parties attempting to connect to one another. Thus it is a plain old DoS attack.

Just an observation (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480320)

You slashdot fanboys always pick on Comcast because they cut off your anime torrents. Go back to picking on Microsoft for once and leave the innocent victim Comcast alone! They are cutting off your anime torrents to save their network and to make it less congested for people who use the Internet for LEGIT purposes.

The Internet Is Sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22480326)


from the virii of the Axis of Fascism [whitehouse.org] .

Yours PatRIOTically,
K. Trout, A-C-T-I-V-I-S-T

I don't think that word means what you think it... (2, Insightful)

Nemilar (173603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480334)

I don't think that word means what you think it means. "Needless" means unnecessary. Obviously, with more and more information going through the tubes, we NEED bigger tubes!

People aren't going to stop transfering data over the internet just because the telecoms say so. The trend is towards larger files, faster downloads, and more data. We NEED more bandwidth. Just because you don't want to be bothered with upgrades, doesn't make the upgrades unnecessary.

Re:I don't think that word means what you think it (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480812)

People aren't going to stop transfering data over the internet just because the telecoms say so.
They might if they charge enough, per bit. I'm really surprised they haven't pushed harder for a consumer per bit billing scheme.

But I agree with you, the tel-co arguments are just ridiculous. If they are having bandwidth shortages, then increases in capacity are necessary. It's not like they haven't been on the receiving end of a significant amount of tax payer money to do just that.

-Rick

Expensive and Needless? (4, Insightful)

wiggles (30088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480338)

So capacity upgrades are 'expensive and needless', eh? Is that why we're among the worst in the developed world for broadband speed and penetration? I don't know about anyone else, but I heard, "If our customers would only stop using our services, we wouldn't have to throttle them!"

Maybe if they advertised lower peak speeds and limited their customers to those speeds and charged a premium for higher speeds, we wouldn't have this problem.

Re:Expensive and Needless? (1)

NMagic (982573) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480842)

So how would I go about charging the spammers and popup companies for utilizing my bandwidth? For that matter, how much more capacity would we have if popups and spammers were actually LIABLE for the bandwidth they utilized? If I can charge the companies that keep adding shit that I really didn't ask for, then I'm ok with what Comcast has done.

Re:Expensive and Needless? (3, Funny)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481278)

So capacity upgrades are 'expensive and needless', eh? Is that why we're among the worst in the developed world for broadband speed and penetration? I don't know about anyone else, but I heard, "If our customers would only stop using our services, we wouldn't have to throttle them!"
Sorry, all I heard was penetration.

Only thing AT&T left out of their statement (1)

Kazrath (822492) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480340)

was "Think of the Children"

Duh (2, Insightful)

the4thdimension (1151939) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480356)

Seemed like this was inevitable. Kind of strange that they chose to wait till the last day. They have an obviously vested interest in supporting this motion. As noted, its cheaper for them to limit P2P traffic unwatched than to face the glaringly obvious issue of bandwidth. If they had taken the government up on a plan to upgrade the nations network infrastructure, this wouldn't even be an issue. We need some tech-nuts in the government to keep this kind of thing alive and stop letting companies clinch their fists around end-users. Internet should be regulated like any other utility(gas, water, electric).

Re:Duh (1)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480598)

Kind of strange that they chose to wait till the last day

It's not strange at all. It gave them time to grease the right cogs in the machine, polish their arguments and get the "last word". It doesn't really matter how many comments the FCC got from other sources early on, it's the last comments that they will remember the most, whether they want to or not. It's just the nature of memory, and decision making, actually. The most recent information generally has the most impact on decision making unless it is marred with obvious errors. If the errors were so obvious to non-technical people there would be no need for the comments in the first place.

If I wanted AT&T's opinion... (5, Funny)

jesdynf (42915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480392)

I'd solicit it through illegal means and shield them with retroactive immunity.

Unlimited comments (4, Insightful)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480440)

The FCC should have stated that it would have accepted unlimited comments on the matter.

After the comment period ended, they should have announced that certain comments were rejected because they were too long (beyond an arbitrary amount determined after the comment period) or contained too much legalese, since they didn't want to have make the other commenters "subsidize the [resource]-hogging activities of a few."

i.e. against us - their customers (1)

mhocker (607466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480480)

It's hard to believe this kind of stuff, really. Can you imagine a parallel in any other industry where the company is so against its own customers?

Regulation doesn't work. Bring on proper competition.

Re:i.e. against us - their customers (1)

CorSci81 (1007499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480602)

I present to you the RIAA [blogspot.com] .

Re:i.e. against us - their customers (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481562)

He said proper competition. The RIAA is about as anticompetitive as it gets (music labels band together to price-set, legislate, sue). That's not competition: that's a back-door monopoly.

Re:i.e. against us - their customers (1)

CorSci81 (1007499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481674)

I'd say for most of the US this applies to the cable market as well. Granted they face external competition from telcos getting into internet and satellite TV, but I can't say I see much distinction between Comcast and Time Warner and certainly no competition in my market. They just haven't really started suing their customers (yet).

Translation (5, Interesting)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480512)

Translations:

marketplace remains fundamentally healthy,
the non market driven place where the minimal competition allows us to dicate all the terms, remains a good place for us to squeeze money.

and the purported 'cure' could only make it sick,
the suggested changes would make it more difficult for us to squeeze money out of our customers.

"At best, the network-management restrictions proposed by Free Press and others would inflict wasteful costs on broadband providers in the form of expensive and needless capacity upgrades
The suggested changes would force us to spend money on upgrades, that we could avoid spending by capping everyone so much that they become unneeded.

ordinary broadband consumers
customers who hardly use the broadband they paid for.

the bandwidth-hogging activities of a few.
the activities that we advertise our services for, but that we don't want our customers to use.

Politeness (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480920)

the non market driven place where the minimal competition allows us to dicate all the terms, remains a good place for us to squeeze money.
You sir are far too polite. The proper word of choice here should be E-X-T-O-R-T.

Comments on the matter (2, Insightful)

GodCandy (1132301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480528)

I would have joined in earlier but I was mitigating the tons of spam and other crap that filters through our company e-mail server daily.

I don't agree with bandwidth shaping by isp's. I feel that I am paying them my hard earned money for my 10/1 connection and I should be able to receive that bandwidth when I want/need it. However having worked for a web hosting company I do realize how much bandwidth cost and how difficult it can be to get the proper peering where and when you need it. I can see why ISP's are filtering at this time (but still can't agree). I think that torrents and other peer to peer software has its use. Sometimes this use is illegal however who is the ISP to judge. I personally use a server at a hosting provider with a 100mb connection and unlimited bandwidth to download my torrent files (all legal linux distros and such of course). This keeps me from saturating my home ISP's bandwidth for days while I download a few gigs of data.

I think that there is a big grey area that we are going to have to come to an agreement. I think that the end users who use more bandwidth should have to pay a premium and those who are more of a casual user who might actually utilize their connection 1 day a month for some software updates or to download some songs from iTunes should be allowed to do as they please. I personally always get the premium plan from the provider with the most available bandwidth knowing full well during peak hours I will not get anything close to what the claim I have. I think it's a loose loose situation and unfortunately we as consumers are going to loose financially.

I wonder who bribed them all? (1)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480548)

They could have been bribed by many people, including:

  • Microsoft, to stop Linux and OSS software from running them out of buisness
  • The RIAA and MPAA, to make sure the singers and movie stars can have the money they "deserve" to buy their 5th Lamborghini, 3rd Lear jet, more drugs to get high on, more alcohol to drink and drive with
  • The government, to prevent independent documentaries that expose the truth of recent high-profile attacks and controversies from getting to BitTorrent
  • The ISPs themselves, so they can destroy the Internet to avoid paying money to upgrade their systems
So now EVERY ISP will destroy the Internet! Damn, I was just going to switch to Verizon...

So um... (1)

moltenfury (1131037) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480588)

"At best, the network-management restrictions proposed by Free Press and others would inflict wasteful costs on broadband providers in the form of expensive and needless capacity upgrades -- costs that would ultimately be passed through to end users, raise broadband prices across the board, and force ordinary broadband consumers to subsidize the bandwidth-hogging activities of a few." Won't that happen anyhow if they start policing customers for the RI/MPAA?

Capacity increases = rate hikes??? (1)

TeraBill (746791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480632)

Are many of these companies the same ones to which the governments of the U.S. have given tax breaks, rate hikes and other incentives totalling billions of dollars over the last 12 years or so to build a high speed infrastructure. An infrastructure that, at the consumer end at least, does not exist in most places. And so now they are telling the FCC that if the give the service that people expect when they buy Internet access, it will require more expenses and this will lead to further rate increases. Color me shocked! I think they have already had far more immunity than they deserve and they need to start giving their customers the services that they already have been paying for over a decade.

But to quote Dennis Miller, "That's just my opinion and I could be wrong."

No Healthy Competition (1)

zubikov (1172699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480686)

If there was any real competition in the telecom field, we wouldn't have this problem. I can't believe some paying $50/month for service and THEY are being told what to do. It's disgusting how much monopolistic slime they pour on us. Whatever happened to fighting to win over the customer? All we need is 6 or 7 comparable broadband suppliers within the same area and they would be dying for us to use any of their bandwidth for half the price; and they would be rushing to upgrade the infrastructure to accommodate more users. All they do now is cut costs and squeeze profits. You will not see this problem here in NYC or any other metropolitan area. As soon as Time Warner tries to pull sh*t like that, I will be signing a new contract the next day. Until there are competitive pressures, these types of problems will keep on getting worse and worse.

Re:No Healthy Competition (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481610)

Wait, you live in NYC and have access to multiple carriers?

TimeWarner and Optimum Online/CableVision coverage is exclusive.

FiOS may be exclusive to verizon where they're rolling it out, but it overlaps with the exclusive cable providers.

I don't know how it is in Manhattan, but that's how it is in the boroughs.

Its like this son... (5, Funny)

GlobalColding (1239712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480716)

The "tubes" aren't limitless. If we dont cap their use, we will run out of Internets.

A Bunch of Bull (4, Insightful)

iviagnus (854023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480756)

If the top 1% in the telecommunications industry weren't sucking the life (read money) out of their respective corporations, they'd have the funds to upgrade the networks when that need arises. If, as a consumer, I'm sold a 1.5Mbps/384Kbps package, I should have every right to utilize 100% or that bandwidth, 100% of the time. No exceptions. If the telecommunications industry can't deliver on that, they shouldn't be running a corporation. Businesses should be 100% liable for honesty and deliver 100% of advertized services. If I walked into any store in these United States, saw a package containing 50 items for $29.95, and after taking my money I find out the package now contains only 27 items, you can damn well bet I'm gonna be in the right to get back the difference. Every breathing soul on this planet would expect the same. Just because we're talking about electrons and not gumballs has absolutely NO bearing on what we as consumers should be getting. I would expect the other "players" to send in comments defending Comcasts practices. Each of them either already uses similar methods themselves or plans to, and they can see the writing on the wall. Here's some writing for AT&T, Verizon, and everyone other service provider that is "with" Comcast . . . "Eat my Dick Mother-Fuckers!"

Another car ananolgy (4, Insightful)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480858)

Time-Warner Cable's comment all but condemns P2P applications as "designed to consume all available bandwidth and, if left unchecked, will prevent consumers from continuing to access the wealth of content available over the Internet."
So their solution is to hinder or completely block a technology or protocol because they aren't up with the times? So let me use another car analogy, since Comcast is fond of that one. They are saying that since everyone just got sportscars, we shouldn't pave the dirt roads but force most people to keep riding horses and allow only 30% of people to share these sportscars on the available paved roads at peak traffic hours.
It's outrageous that they can say that with a straight face! This seems like a perfectly obvious sign that their infrastructure is in a serious need of an upgrade in order to maintain competition with the up-and-coming technologies that are being, or are already, released. This has me fuming.

Re:Another car ananolgy (2, Interesting)

Daniel Wood (531906) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481454)

Ya know, to be honest, I would have no problems with ISPs placing P2P protocols in the bulk category for QoS on their end. This would ensure that other traffic has priority and no one would really be affected that much. The problem I have with Comcast is the method they use to essentially block P2P by forging RST packets.

Then again, I would be perfectly happy paying $100 a month for a 2/2 connection with no limitations. It would be much better than the $60/month I pay for a 5/512k with a 50GB cap($3/GB after), weekly outages, and rollercoaster pings(Gotta love having no other broadband provider available). I don't even use P2P (NNTP FTW).

Re:Another car ananolgy (3, Interesting)

funaho (42567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481468)

Actually a better analogy would be that they're forcing all the sports cars to stay in first gear, and just to be sure they're throwing up fake stop signs every so often to slow down traffic flow.

Selective throttling == CENSORSHIP (4, Insightful)

sd.fhasldff (833645) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480918)

There's just no two ways about it. Throttling *selectively* is censorship.

Comcast unilaterally decides that some content is good and some bad - and that should just plain be illegal.

I know many are opposed, but I don't mind the actual *throttling* itself, if it were just protocol-neutral. I cannot accept, however, that Comcast gets to decide that I can't use the rated capacity of my line (you know, the number they tout in their PR) to download Ubuntu with a bittorrent client, while my neighbor can max out his identical connection downloading movies over HTTP or FTP.

(And, no, the actual *content* shouldn't matter either, of course, that's just a feeble attempt at highlighting the inherent stupidity of the method).

Requiring an ISP to have enough capacity to enable ALL its customers to max out their connections would be monumentally wasteful, no question. However...

What Comcast, and any other ISP should do, is actually tell you what you are buying, up front, so that it's possible to make an informed purchasing decision. E.g.:

6Mbps down, 1Mbps up. Rated bandwidth available at least 90% of the time. Minimum bandwidth of1Mbps down, 256kbps up (except in case of equipment failure).

The ISP can then throttle users with this connection in times of peak load, but still protocol (and content) neutral!

If they wanted to get really advanced, they could give their users the ability to use some kind of QoS feature, so that e.g. a user could choose to prioritize http and ftp over, say, bittorrent. Or to prioritize whatever port #s the user's favorite multiplayer game uses, so that using the internet connection for other stuff introduces a minimum of lag on gaming.

In any event, there's just no justification for saying that my downloading Ubuntu or whatever should be throttled in favor of some idiot streaming porn over HTTP. (OK, maybe if it's porn... bad example... you get my drift, though)

Moderated Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22481096)


are anything but on slashdot.

What's next: MySlashdotspace.com?

Send your comments to the FCC (1)

nevesis (970522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481254)

URL: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/upload_v2.cgi [fcc.gov]

Proceeding: 07-52

Example Brief Comment to FCC:

"AT&T's filing has suggested that broadband capacity upgrades would be "expensive and needless." It is our company's belief that this is wholly inaccurate. According to research firm Point Topic, U.S. broadband speeds have increased a mere 0.17 percent this year, to 2.971 Mbps. In comparison, the speeds in South & East Asia went up 132 percent to 3.582 Mbps, while Asia Pacific saw speeds increase 38.79 percent to 14.989 Mbps. Speeds in Western Europe gained by 6.22 percent to 5.552 Mbps."

Let's be clear (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481308)

The P2P users may be complaining today, but this isn't a salvo against P2P - P2P is an archetypical case for these bozos (Comcast and their allies).

How soon before VoIP users are inconsiderate bandwidth hogs? Planning on buying an Apple TV for that nifty HD download? How about Netflix? How about iTMS? Amazon? Magnatune.com? Internet radio?

Somebody want to tell me that P2P torrents aren't used for _fundamentally the same_ content (with exception of VoIP... maybe), with fundamentally the same bandwidth requirements? If so, I'll tell you right now, I'm not buying that argument for a moment.

I'm radically opposed to losing ground on this issue. Many of us do indeed remember modems. They sucked. Yes, the net was so much simpler then - so were my tape-eating VHS machines and my scratchy vinyl LPs. After modems, we were threatened with ISDN - anyone but me remember how this was to be a boon because it would contribute to telecommuting and save us on roads, gas, etc, etc?

Then comes broadband technologies - and their incumbent promises - and I remember them, even if some of you don't.

If you're in the camp sympathizing with "those bandwidth hogs should pay more" - or "most people just want occasional email and the web, so the heavy users should pay" - I say this: DON'T DRINK THE KOOL-AIDE, YOU'VE HAD ENOUGH!!!

This is slashdot, people. On the theory that birds of a feather flock together - ask yourself which type of person you know more of - personally - the occasional email/web user, or the NORMAL broadband-needing regular user - be it for ISO downloads, VoIP or entertainment?

This crap about a few percent of hog users lapping it up at the expense of others is just that - a load of crap.

I hate fucking pirates as much or more as the next guy. But not all P2P is piracy and as I hope I've demonstrated, P2P isn't the point - it's the excuse. Let's be clear - we hang together or they'll hang us separately.

P2P isn't just file sharing (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481372)

Many online video games use P2P, but it hasn't been done to its fullest where like 500 people can play Tekken at the same time.

Bandwidth != Insurance (1)

alapbj (1242530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481390)

Bandwidth is not car insurance, and you should not be punished for using it.

My cable isn't throttled if I watch TV all day.

Network capacity should be calculated by bandwidth allowed, not bandwidth in use.

Don't forget to research where your favorite Presidential candidate stands on Net Neutrality and consider that when you vote!

Re:Bandwidth != Insurance (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22481684)

My cable isn't throttled if I watch TV all day.
For your sentiment and clear thinking, I say, right on!

OTOH... if you have digital cable, you do know that your TV signal is often significantly compressed (with visible quality loss) to allow them to deliver content on their infrastructure. I'm just wondering if that appears in any digital non-OTA TV provider's TOS....

You're right - they don't charge more for hours viewed, i.e., bandwidth. Cable charges more if you have more channels. They charge more if you have premium channels.

This is exactly where these clowns are going and it's obvious to me. Today, the excuse is bandwidth. But it's not coincidental that bandwidth is translating to protocols is translating to premium use.

Lets' see it for what it is: they're trying to re-write the broadband rules and make inroads in billing to use-of-premium-content. And premium content billing is something your local cable company knows PLENTY about.

It was all fun and games to slap some broadband capability on cable to drive sales and profits up. Now, VoIP and entertainment are - or will be - making Joe Average rethink his information needs. Those hours spent downloading a good movie are not hours spent watching HBO. Do they offer to raise prices or offset prices for this? Exactly - they offer to control, then raise.

It's not fun and games anymore, and HBO/Showtime isn't the next big thing. They're dead - sorry, but they are. (It's been 20 years since I've heard anyone go to someone's house to watch a movie on HBO - remember those days? Cable does!)

OK, by now I've made my point, I hope.
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