I just don't get it - why spend millions of dollars a year on television marketing and print if you are going to alienate your users so badly.
Comcast is a cable provider here in the USA. Cable providers have had a really sweet deal for a number of years pretty much being a monopoly for high speed Internet. Although you can get 3mb dsl in a large percentage of the country once cable providers moved their services up to 8mb downloads it's pretty much the default choice. (eg I use Time Warner cable but my other option are Verizon dsl (and a few other dsl providers) no fios yet unfortunately :(
Because cable has this monopoly it was them or a lower speed dsl (of course that was until fios fiber and a few other options became available in the last few years).
So with these new options you think the cable companies would be trying to bend over backwards to win/keep their high speed customers, especially their savvy technically literate users as they are tending to pay for the faster tiers of service.
Well Comcast a few weeks ago decide to start blocking bit torrents.
A bit torrent is a way of downloading a single file from multiple locations at the same time eg, lets say I need to download a 100mb movie trailer - I download using bit torrent from 10 people at 10mbs each in 10 seconds rather than from 1 person at 10 mb in 100 seconds (or 1.5mins approx).
That's a simple example but you get the idea.
Yes a lot of people download pirate content using bit torrent but that's not the only use. Eg I can download asterisk updates using bit torrent or large development files or software updates etc.
Private people can also set up their own bit torrent servers to deliver their own private content to people they are working with etc.
You get the point - it's basically a very smart way of sharing files, any type of files. I mean you paid for that extra fast high speed bandwidth for a reason right?
So Comcast have bought some technology from a company called Sandvine. This company has a way of looking at your ISP traffic and working out when you are downloading bit torrent files - when they detect you doing this Comcast then 'throttle' your network to the point it looks like it's no longer working.
Whats worse is they have also been caught with their pants down (probably by internal staff who think it's a stupid idea in the first place) http://mashable.com/2007/10/26/comcast-isnt-net-neutral-are-they-liars-too/ Dont you love the semi-lies and the selective 'wording' in that pr debacle.
Either way Comcast sucks and I hope all of their customers walk with their feet - even if just for a few months so that ISP's know they cant push us around.