Comcast says not blocking Internet downloads

Comcast Corp said on Monday that file transfers on peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent may be delayed by bandwidth management technology, but it denied blocking access to any applications or content. As the second-largest high-speed Internet provider in the United States with 11 million customers, any move by Comcast to favor or block certain types of content moving over its network would be extremely controversial as it would be seen as flouting 'net neutrality.'

Net Neutrality is the principle of allowing all content that flows over an Internet service provider's (ISP) network to be treated equally without any preference. Although it is not law, it is supported by a wide range of pressure groups and businesses concerned that ISPs will start charging to prioritize the delivery of users content. The Associated Press reported over the weekend that it had carried out experiments across the country proving that Comcast prevented some users from uploading content to peer-to-peer networks, including BitTorrent. Such networks are used by consumers to share large quantities of files such as music, videos and photographs.

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This came from a Windows Home Server user via a email blog

Face the facts as tech I know that ISP's lie


Posted: 22 Oct 2007 03:59 PM CDT

I got a letter today from one of our readers in the States, now if you are a heavy user of RDP and FTP this could affect you. Over to Don:

I would like to inform that anyone who is using ATT or Comcast in some areas are going to run into problems with WHS. I have been using WHS for several months and just last week I noticed that with RDP and the website that my download and upload dropped from over 300 - 400kbs to 15 -20kbs and timing out every time not only WHS, but my own web server hosted in Kansas City was timing out with not only FTP but any of my uploads for new content, so after hours of trouble shooting thinking maybe it’s the switch and so on and on I finally called Comcast who “well you know how they go” have me running every test I already ran and stating they saw no problems.

Well, Comcast sends a tech out (Jim) who shows up to my door to run the same tests already ran and asks if I own a webserver? I tell him WHS and my primary sites hosted within a datacenter which I am having trouble updating from home on this network. I could not believe what fell out of his mouth! Comcast in some areas along with ATT and soon Time Warner are using data filters. Which send back a silent request from ISP to the customers on certain uploads and downloads to time out automatically. The software is designed to block torrents and file sharing, so there are no so-called “network degrades” for all customers. Wow! Not good at all!

I asked Jim what the fix was even for my hosted server (from my home network) and of course the normal Comcast answer of “I will forward this to techs in datacenter”, but nothing he could do for now!

I am a huge user of RDP and FTP. WHS has combined these functions plus added a lot more. When Comcast, ATT and Time Warner go nationwide with these filters this will affect the product and customers at every level and not just filesharing.

If this affects my hosting sites (even my blog to post a picture), filesharing and WHS for all reasons good or bad. What can be done to gain back are access to our property in which we pay for?

I would like to pass this on since I am a huge Microsoft fan and user, but also inform and help anyone using WHS under any of these providers may notice time-outs or degraded speeds if used from outside their home network or sharing items with family members outside the network.

Well this is not good news. Three of the biggest suppliers of Internet services are starting to use so called “data filters”. What’s your opinion?

Oh well. I've never really had much of a choice, it's either Qwest or Comcast. I will never go back to Qwest, but I've never had any problems with Comcast either. They ignored my 600-700GB/month back in P2P years. Besides Xbox Live and standard internet fair, there's not too much I really care about.

maybe ive been lucky, havent had problems on comcast...even had 'bonus' speed increase for a while (22mbps/2.5mbps) that unfortunatly is no longer there :P

If people voted with their wallets and were prepared to go without internet, we could force ISPs to stop this BS. That will never happen though, we're all sheep.

Persephone said,
If people voted with their wallets and were prepared to go without internet, we could force ISPs to stop this BS. That will never happen though, we're all sheep.

Power to the Sheeple.

Holy crap! This quote is from bittorrent creator Bram Cohen:

"I most definitely do not want the Internet to become like television where there's actual censorship... however it is very difficult to actually create network neutrality laws which don't result in an absurdity like making it so that ISPs can't drop spam or stop... (hacker) attacks."

Never though about that. The government will have to make exceptions for ISPs to block DDoS attacks and spam/hacking attacks; what's going to happen is that even if there IS net neutrality, the telcos can still use hacking as an excuse to block bittorrent.

The U.S. was at the top of the heap for internet, then the rest of the world passed us up (unless you live in a super urban area where you can get 20Mbps service). I know the people that run Time Warner Cable are big net neutrality supporters even though the corporation itself isn't, so hopefully this won't affect me anytime soon.

The only thing that bugs me about this is downloading Linux distro's now takes ages... right now on a distro that took my DSL account a couple hours to download it says on the comcast end ~1 week left *slams head on desk* they need to find a way to not interfear with legal downloads... because this is redicilous

excalpius said,
Because 75% of the human population is of average intelligence or less. re: the bell curve of IQ distribution.

Heh, we just learned about the IQ bell curve in pysch. today! :P

Am I the only one who doesn't have any problems on BT using Azureus? I only have the lazy bitfield option enabled and am seeding at much faster than before (over 100KBps).

US/AU customers are ripped off, no matter the provider, compared to most EU customers, period.
you guys get to deal with blocks, DL rates, low speeds, high prices, pick your choice depending on your ISP, while most europeans can get unmettered and unlimited DSL at speeds way beyond yours, unlimited national (and often international) phone calls (more and more frequent) IPTV and whatnot. Used to be the other way around... sad for you guys...

Arkos Reed said,
US/AU customers are ripped off, no matter the provider, compared to most EU customers, period.
you guys get to deal with blocks, DL rates, low speeds, high prices, pick your choice depending on your ISP, while most europeans can get unmettered and unlimited DSL at speeds way beyond yours, unlimited national (and often international) phone calls (more and more frequent) IPTV and whatnot. Used to be the other way around... sad for you guys...

You know nothing, the UK, virgin media: about $80 a month gets you 20Mbit, with speeds of upto 200KBps download and 60KBps upload, with a 35GB bandwidth limit per month, sites like totse.com are blocked, no-one in UK offers unlimited and unmetered DSL. Unlimited national and international phone calls ? man your speaking so much crap, no way do we get that

I am a comcast user out of the Taylor, MI service area. They have imposed the packet shaping technology on this segment of the network. I use to be able to upload through uTorrent at around 82KBps. Now, if I do not limit the upload to at least 30kBps I cannot download at any speed. So I agree they are not blocking, but they are limiting which isn't right. The already have a teired system and I am on their High Performance setup already, so they for sure shouldn't be blocking my P2P activities. Oh Well..heres hopping Verizon FIOS makes it to Michigan....

kcobra98 said,
I am a comcast user out of the Taylor, MI service area. They have imposed the packet shaping technology on this segment of the network. I use to be able to upload through uTorrent at around 82KBps. Now, if I do not limit the upload to at least 30kBps I cannot download at any speed. So I agree they are not blocking, but they are limiting which isn't right. The already have a teired system and I am on their High Performance setup already, so they for sure shouldn't be blocking my P2P activities. Oh Well..heres hopping Verizon FIOS makes it to Michigan....

I'd be willing to bet if you disabled your DHT networking you'd see those speeds go right back up.

Use uTorrent and encrypt your connection and disable DHT. Poof instant speed increases.

Nose Nuggets said,
i duno... i get 24mb/s on my comcast cable for, i think its $40 a month? thats well worth it.

You must be one special customer. I cannot even get 24mbps on my business cable internet account.....

Nose Nuggets said,
i duno... i get 24mb/s on my comcast cable for, i think its $40 a month? thats well worth it.

You are not getting 24mbit/s that is powerboost... you get up to 32mbit for the first 40 MB of download then it throttles back to your subscribed bandwidth

neufuse said,

You are not getting 24mbit/s that is powerboost... you get up to 32mbit for the first 40 MB of download then it throttles back to your subscribed bandwidth

i work for comcast
basically itll be insane fast for around 5 megs, then sit back at regular speed for 20 seconds, then back to insane
at least thats what its intended to do

Diaboli said,

i work for comcast
basically itll be insane fast for around 5 megs, then sit back at regular speed for 20 seconds, then back to insane
at least thats what its intended to do

Or you can be like me and live right on the convergence of 3 power, cable, and phone grids.

My "PowerBoost" never actually slows down. I consistently get 32Mbit speeds even on fully ISO downloads from my Microsoft Beta account.

Oh the sweetness of completing a full Vista SP1 or Server 2008 ISO download in 15 minutes.

I really do not believe comcast is blocking anything. I download torrents all the time. I hit 300gb on newsgroups and I use VOIP. No issues whatsoever.

I think this really has more to do with people not understanding how torrents work rather than comcast doing anything.

Me too.
I download torrents all the time and never have a problem. There was even an article or post (maybe from here) that said Comcast was also preventing users from seeding- and I don't have that issue either. Of course, all this is anecdotal, and other Comcast users might be having a different experience. But so far, my speed and connectivity is solid.

(Of course, now that I mentioned I'm not having issues... lol... Comcast will zap me! Heh)

Too bad I can't d/l torrents at the prison I work at- the connection there is ridiculously fast! (Glad to see the Department of Corrections spending money on quality Internet versus quality health care for the inmates!)

screw comcast... there overpriced for what you get.

i like my AT&T dsl much better if i look at "bang for the buck"... cause im bascally paying dialup-ish prices (15 dollars a month) for 40KB/s. (384k plan) ... although it aint "fast" it's not bad and i can still pretty much do what i did before and get "stuff" within a reasonable time frame ;)

and now comcast was claimed to have blocked p2p stuff... so screw them... they charge u a arm and a leg and wont even let you use p2p... screw them i say.

ThaCrip said,
screw comcast... there overpriced for what you get.

i like my AT&T dsl much better if i look at "bang for the buck"... cause im bascally paying dialup-ish prices (15 dollars a month) for 40KB/s. (384k plan) ... although it aint "fast" it's not bad and i can still pretty much do what i did before and get "stuff" within a reasonable time frame ;)

and now comcast was claimed to have blocked p2p stuff... so screw them... they charge u a arm and a leg and wont even let you use p2p... screw them i say.


You're getting ripped off. I pay $19.99 for 3/512 DSL from ATT...

$40.00 a month for a 5,056kb's down and 768kb's up connection that goes down to $30.00 in the next couple months I've heard.

I tried out the local cable companies 10mbps connection for a week to see if it was any better and it was pure crap. On my DSL conenction I downloaded a 4gb file in just under 4 hours using torrent and it was connected at speeds that were under what it usually is. That same torrent on cable went on for over a day and only got a little over 3gb's downloaded and I called it quits.

At the end of that trial week, a couple guys came to ask me how it went. I just gave them all the stuff back and laughed. They just stood there with this odd look on their look on their faces I just said "Oh I love the digital cable and everything else, but I'll never get the interenet from you. My DSL blows it away". Cable internet (at least the one in my area) just sucks.

NightmarE D said,
$40.00 a month for a 5,056kb's down and 768kb's up connection that goes down to $30.00 in the next couple months I've heard.

I tried out the local cable companies 10mbps connection for a week to see if it was any better and it was pure crap. On my DSL conenction I downloaded a 4gb file in just under 4 hours using torrent and it was connected at speeds that were under what it usually is. That same torrent on cable went on for over a day and only got a little over 3gb's downloaded and I called it quits.

At the end of that trial week, a couple guys came to ask me how it went. I just gave them all the stuff back and laughed. They just stood there with this odd look on their look on their faces I just said "Oh I love the digital cable and everything else, but I'll never get the interenet from you. My DSL blows it away". Cable internet (at least the one in my area) just sucks.

im paying 35/mo in canada for 10 down 1 up, but im actually getting 15down/2up on speed tests

Cable companies have a monopoly on most local markets. Thats how they get away with this crap. Its not right.

Bandwidth Managment.... (packet shaping) here's where this is heading...

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