Saturday, June 07, 2008

Comcast face 3 civil suits over P2P meddling

Comcast may have agreed to end its practice of using forged TCP reset packets to hinder the P2P traffic of its customers, but the cable provider isn't out of the woods yet. Three class-action lawsuits were filed against Comcast this week in California, Illinois, and New Jersey, alleging that the company deceived and misled consumers by advertising that it offered "unfettered access to all the content, services, and applications that the Internet has to offer."

For those just catching up, complaints from suspicious customers began surfacing last fall about Comcast using questionable methods to block BitTorrent traffic on its network. In October, the Associated Press decided to
perform its own independent tests to see if the allegations were true, and found further evidence that Comcast had been sending "fake" TCP reset packets claiming to be from its customers attempting to use BitTorrent, therefore timing out their downloads and seeds. In November, the Electronic Frontier Foundation released a report detailing its own investigation, confirming that BitTorrent performance was being selectively degraded by unexpected TCP reset packets.


Yep what can I say, play dirty expect to get sued by people who are paying for your product and not getting what they expected.

I'm about to place a bet with anyone who wants to take me up on it,

"P2P/traffic shaping/QOS etc will be what breaks up the current USA monopoly for cable companies"

I think in less than 3 years from now the FCC will report that the current monopoly of exclusive delivery regions is unworkable, that for too long cable companies have abused their monopolistic control over connectivity and that this is the catalyst that is used to 'break' current distribution agreements.

The FCC will come in and announce a period of open access that will encourage new entrants to rapidly deploy a mix of fiber and radio services - BUT the new structure will allow ANY carrier to block/manage/control access to the Internet in anyway they see fit THOUGH because of competition end users who find this an imposition will be free to go to their competitors.

Issues of 'cherry picking' and neglected areas will then ensue but this can be solved in a similar process to the way telephone calls are 'subsidised' in Ohio/Wyoming etc (basically all Internet connections pay a 'tariff' which is then used to provide subsidies services to areas that would be more expensive.

If the USA government was smart they would control through legislation and minimum connection speed mandates etc but here in the USA this government intervention is seen to be as bad as communism which is why Asian countries like Korea get government mandated connectivity which improves over all education, commercial efficiencies and lifestyle benefits......and the USA doesn't.

Either way time to start investing in smart smaller dsl/fiber 'data rbocs' (as they will be valuable 6 years from now when they start being acquired by the majors) and shorting Time Warner/Comcast etc who can only go down from current penetration levels.



  1. Dean,

    Nice article. I pray to God that your prediction comes true.

    Robb Topolski