FCC to investigate Comcast BitTorrent filtering

The Federal Communications Commission will investigate complaints that Comcast Corp. actively interferes with Internet traffic as its subscribers try to share files online, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said Tuesday. A coalition of consumer groups and legal scholars asked the agency in November to stop Comcast from discriminating against certain types of data. Two groups also asked the FCC to fine the nation's No. 2 Internet provider $195,000 for every affected subscriber. "Sure, we're going to investigate and make sure that no consumer is going to be blocked," Martin told an audience at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

In an investigation last year, The Associated Press found that Comcast in some cases hindered file sharing by subscribers who used BitTorrent, a popular file-sharing program. The findings, first reported Oct. 19, confirmed claims by users who also noticed interference with other file-sharing applications. Comcast denies that it blocks file sharing, but acknowledged after the AP story that it was "delaying" some of the traffic between computers that share files. The company said the intervention was necessary to improve the surfing experience for the majority of its subscribers. Peer-to-peer file sharing is a common way to illegally exchange copyright files, but companies are also rushing to utilize it for legal distribution of video and game content. If ISPs hinder or control that traffic, it makes them important gatekeepers of Internet content.

View: Full Story @ Associated Press

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23 Comments

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Yes, it's so nice being with Time Warner Roadrunner. They don't filter jack and I'm using their 10 mbps speed without a hitch. I love it that Comcast can't get away with that crap.

I haven't ever noticed Comcast filtering my bittorent traffic, but if they launch an investigation, then maybe it will be enough to keep them from ever doing it.

I haven't seen any evidence of Comcast filtering my torrent traffic. I always have a torrent client running.

I think this has more to do with people not understanding how torrents work and less to do with comcast filtering anything.

archer75 said,
I haven't seen any evidence of Comcast filtering my torrent traffic. I always have a torrent client running.

I think this has more to do with people not understanding how torrents work and less to do with comcast filtering anything.


No, it was proven that they actually are filtering BT

z0phi3l said,


No, it was proven that they actually are filtering BT

And the "tests" in which it was "proven" weren't much of tests. It still looks like the results were gathered by people who don't understand how torrents work.

archer75 said,
And the "tests" in which it was "proven" weren't much of tests. It still looks like the results were gathered by people who don't understand how torrents work.

ComCast has been proven by multiple people to be spoofing RST packets. Just Google ComCast RST. This will return the proof you are doubting.

You can't legally filter traffic like this in the US. This is like saying since some email contains viruses, all email is going to be blocked.

What's the point in the FCC announcing to Comcast that it will begin investigations. I mean how hard is it to turn off filtering during the investigation. The FCC should have secretly inspected traffic by just tapping into the NSA's Internet wiretap.

interesting...

im no internet expert but this kind of reminds me of the 'series of tubes' incident? like whats it called again..

Small world! I didn't expect to find another Neowinian in this class.

But anyway, getting back to the topic...

Rogers, one of the biggest ISPs in Canada, throttles all BT traffic, which was the one reason I decided to switch ISPs. Not only do they throttle, but they also impose fairly limited bandwidth caps and CHARGE for going over! I wouldn't mind so much if they did one of the two, but to throttle AND cap users is just mean. Some governing body in Canada should step up to the plate like the FCC down south and make Rogers rethink their strategy.

I switched to a little DSL company called TekSavvy. They provide 5 mbps service for $29.95, and they don't throttle. Their bandwidth caps are set at 200 GB per month, which are more than double what Rogers imposes. For less money, more bandwidth, and no throttling, how can you go wrong?

Andy-Roo said,
Small world! I didn't expect to find another Neowinian in this class.

But anyway, getting back to the topic...

Rogers, one of the biggest ISPs in Canada, throttles all BT traffic, which was the one reason I decided to switch ISPs. Not only do they throttle, but they also impose fairly limited bandwidth caps and CHARGE for going over! I wouldn't mind so much if they did one of the two, but to throttle AND cap users is just mean. Some governing body in Canada should step up to the plate like the FCC down south and make Rogers rethink their strategy.

Like I had said before, they're not called Jolly Rogers for nothing. I bet that they'd love to go back to the days when internet was charged by the minute.

Hmm, it's available in my area. Interesting, although I like how I'm paying another ISP to give my Rogers' cable 6mbps for less :P

Andy-Roo said,
Someone should be paying more attention in CSC148H. :-P

:laugh:

Slimy said,
Hmm, it's available in my area. Interesting, although I like how I'm paying another ISP to give my Rogers' cable 6mbps for less :P

Is there such an alternate cable ISP here? I'd really like to know!

About time the FCC looked into this, the fine is definitely steep so I'd assume it's going to be way lower than that once it's decided