27 March, 2008

Comcast and BitTorrent working together

Seems the investigation by the FCC on how Comcast handles its network traffic management is having an effect on who Comcast does business with. As reported in today's Wall Street Journal, Comcast is now working with BitTorrent to find an acceptable solution for network traffic management. Currently Comcast has just discontinued any P2P traffic during busy times by sending requests to discontinue communication to each party.

It appears Comcast now has a better approach in the works -- manage total bandwidth by user. Because cable Internet puts entire neighborhoods onto one network, busy times can cause slow downs. Comcast's plan of eliminating certain types of traffic (P2P, which they assumed was mostly illegal file transfers), though maybe successful in many cases, did not meet normal terms of service. Take for example the popular World of Warcraft -- users get updates via legal P2P traffic -- there is no law breaking going on there. What made one protocol more okay on the network than another? Assuming this new approach works, which could be ready by the end of the year, all users will get treated equal (imagine that?).

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