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gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

Don't assume anything

It's probably a bad idea to assign meaning to what they say such as "he means doesn't involve forging user TCP packets."

It's more likely that they will whitelist legal BT so as to avoid lawsuits.

Pirates are still fair game.
--
There is no greater sign of a general decay of virtue in a nation, than a want of zeal in its inhabitants for the good of their country. ~ Joseph Addison


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
quote:
It's more likely that they will whitelist legal BT so as to avoid lawsuits.
That's what I was wondering...though the claim here is "protocol agnostic," so they'd be caught in a lie if they went back and started mucking about with even a portion of BT traffic...


Kickroot
Java Heathen
Premium
join:2002-11-24
Honesdale, PA
said by Karl Bode:

...so they'd be caught in a lie if...
You make it sound like they try to avoid that type of situation.
--
Only through the criticizing of others can we learn to love ourselves.


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
Point made, but if they were still planning to take action against illegal Torrents their PR people would have avoided use of the phrase "protocol agnostic" in the press release.


Sabre
Di relung hatiku bernyanyi bidadari

join:2005-05-17

1 recommendation

Unless they were planning to take action against illegal material of any sort, whether distributed via torrent or otherwise? Wouldn't that still technically be "protocol agnostic"?


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
True. This announcement could be followed in a year by a push where they attempt to purge all illegal content from the network via deep packet inspection like AT&T says they want to do...

There could also be a future scenario where official, sanctioned "BitTorrent Corp." BitTorrent traffic is considered the only legitimate BitTorrent traffic they recognize because they've struck content deals with Cohen and company.

But both of these scenarios would be PR napalm bombs. Can't really tell until someone can poke at the newly managed network later this year.


FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to Sabre
said by Sabre:

Unless they were planning to take action against illegal material of any sort, whether distributed via torrent or otherwise? Wouldn't that still technically be "protocol agnostic"?
Yes. And they should take actions to stop illegal content. And also to reign in the bandwidth hogs(top 5% of users).
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page


Boogeyman
Drive it like you stole it
Premium
join:2002-12-17
Seward, AK
What about the nodes that dont have "hogs" on them? The top 5% would just be the Granny that had a new grandbaby and got over 2 gigs of email video and pics in one day.

If you absolutely must get rid of "hogs" (instead of upgrading infrastructure), going by the top percent isnt a perfect idea. You'd have to do it as the top x users who consume more than y more than everyone else on the node on a consistant basis. That way at least the people who arent hogs but still use a lot wont get hassled as much.


DHRacer
Tech Monkey

join:2000-10-10
Lake Arrowhead, CA
reply to FFH5
How does one define hog? I mean, are there terms in the TOS that say you can only use your connection that you paid for between the hours of 8am to 5pm? If you paid for it, you should be able to use it 24/7. And if you happen to be an avid downloader or uploader who paid more moeny for a faster connection, what's it to you?

You'll notice that I didn't mention whether the content of the downloading or uploading is legal or illegal material, but frankly my stance is the ISP shouldn't care. That's law enforcement's problem. ISPs should just be the straw you use to suck and backwash into the great big internet pool.

--
"No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them." (R&D Supervisor, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing /3M Corp.)

Corydon
Cultivant son jardin
Premium
join:2008-02-18
Denver, CO
reply to FFH5
said by FFH5:

Yes. And they should take actions to stop illegal content. And also to reign in the bandwidth hogs(top 5% of users).
Bandwidth hogs I'm cool with. Let Comcast go after them all they want to—as long as it really is just the top 1% or whatever and the limits are publicly defined. The main problem I have with Comcast is how opaque their practices are. They really need to be a lot more open about what they're doing.

On the other hand, I don't think stopping piracy or any other illegal content is any of Comcast's concern. Yes, they should cooperate with warrants and subpoenas, but I don't want my ISP monitoring my traffic at the behest of the **AAs unless someone's got a damn good reason, like solid evidence that I'm a pirate or kiddie porn trader or whatever.


TZi

join:2001-07-05
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by Corydon:

The main problem I have with Comcast is how opaque their practices are. They really need to be a lot more open about what they're doing.
I too believe that Comcast ought to be more upfront about just what constitutes over-use. However when you take into account how diverse the plants that they own are (750Mhz, 850Mhz, 1Ghz?) + (DOCSIS 1.1, DOCSIS 2.0 DOCSIS 3.0) , and even the different nodes within systems (100 subs on node A, 17 subs on NODE B), you can understand why it is somewhat difficult to put in the TOS a black and white definition of overuse. Not to mention the fact that services and subscriber load on a system could change on a weekly or daily basis.

If they defined "overuse" according to the most heavily subscribed node, it would mean a lot of users who could be taking advantage of free bandwidth are being denied unused resources whereas a policy based on the least subscribed node would ultimately result in poor service for all. By addressing the issue of "overuse" on node by node, system by system basis they can ensure that their network resources are most efficiently use.

I don't think they intentionally try to make the definition of overuse a secret, it's just that it's based on so many dynamic factors it's almost impossible to put in black-and-white, but I'm sure it is easy for them to identify in the network management software which can dynamically evaluate all those factors.
--
128kbps too much, 100GBps never enough!
Expand your moderator at work


Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to Anon

Re: Don't assume anything


FiOS (BPON and GPON ) is shared.

TIGERON

join:2008-03-11
Pacifica, CA
reply to DHRacer
THANK YOU

djtr4in

join:2008-03-27
Frederick, MD
reply to Matt3
direct opti line to my house...same speed through out the day compared to comcast which slows at peak hours..6pm-9pm due to everyone in the area home from work and relaxing and browsing the net.

Corydon
Cultivant son jardin
Premium
join:2008-02-18
Denver, CO
reply to TZi
said by TZi:

I too believe that Comcast ought to be more upfront about just what constitutes over-use. However when you take into account how diverse the plants that they own are (750Mhz, 850Mhz, 1Ghz?) + (DOCSIS 1.1, DOCSIS 2.0 DOCSIS 3.0) , and even the different nodes within systems (100 subs on node A, 17 subs on NODE B), you can understand why it is somewhat difficult to put in the TOS a black and white definition of overuse. Not to mention the fact that services and subscriber load on a system could change on a weekly or daily basis.
That's a good point, but Cox somehow manages to do it, and I'm sure they suffer from exactly the same issues that Comcast does.

A diverse plant actually is one of the areas where infrastructure upgrades does make sense. I have no doubt whatsoever that MSOs have network surveillance that monitor nodes for oversubscription, identify good candidates for upgrades, etc. I'm sure they do node splits and similar upgrades all the time as their business grows.

What I would like to see is a high cap on how much you can use the service in a month, one that would pretty much never catch 95% of their users (The MSOs routinely claim that only about 1% of users violate the invisible caps). Give people a way of tracking their usage on their website. Then selectively enforce the cap on those nodes where the heavy users are actually impacting others, while letting heavy users on other nodes that don't have the same impact skate by until they do.


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

1 edit
quote:
That's a good point, but Cox somehow manages to do it, and I'm sure they suffer from exactly the same issues that Comcast does.
As an aside, Cox also uses the exact same packet forgery approach to throttle eDonkey traffic, but people generally ignored that when we pointed it out last year.

moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD
reply to FFH5
said by FFH5:

Yes. And they should take actions to stop illegal content. And also to reign in the bandwidth hogs(top 5% of users).
How about some of that illegal spam bot action that seems to come from Comcast subscribers whose machines are infected?


funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6

1 recommendation

reply to FFH5
said by FFH5:

Yes. And they should take actions to stop illegal content. And also to reign in the bandwidth hogs(top 5% of users).
I have a better idea.

Create a skunkworks to figure out a better "last-mile" solution, and let the bandwidth hogs volunteer to test it FOR FREE.

... erm, well maybe I'd be the only volunteer for that -- I'm probably one of the only guys that downloads porn just to look at the articles datagrams ...
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- Hillsboro, Oregon
"We don't throttle any traffic," -Charlie Douglas, Comcast spokesman, on this report.


LeftOfSanity
People Suck.

join:2005-11-06
Dover, DE
reply to djtr4in
said by djtr4in:

direct opti line to my house...same speed through out the day compared to comcast which slows at peak hours..6pm-9pm due to everyone in the area home from work and relaxing and browsing the net.
Is that standard throughout the country or an experience that you or someone you know had?

Fios is a shared medium also.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

reply to DHRacer
You are incorrect in your assumptions regardless of legality.

You do NOT purchase bandwidth to use 100% 24/7. You purchase it with them having the expectation that you will be an average user using the average amount of bandwidth. They do understand that there will be those that use more and those that use less than the average. However, those that are using an extreme amount need to be dealt with as it effects everyone (them and the other customers).

I personally would say they need to have tiers with caps above what a 'typical' user would use. As you move into those tiers your connection is throttled more and more. If you need more bandwidth or higher caps you buy it and pay a "surcharge" to be an "avid downloader or uploader".

wierdo

join:2001-02-16
Tulsa, OK

1 edit
reply to Karl Bode
said by Karl Bode:

quote:
That's a good point, but Cox somehow manages to do it, and I'm sure they suffer from exactly the same issues that Comcast does.
As an aside, Cox also uses the exact same packet forgery approach to throttle eDonkey traffic, but people generally ignored that when we pointed it out last year.
Oh, they do it to BitTorrent in some markets (or at least were a couple of months ago)

Edited to add: As of a few minutes ago, they're not blocking outright anymore, they're just throttling the crap out of it. I have a server connected over GigE to Cox San Diego (among other ISPs) with an all Cox path to my cable modem in Tulsa. Using BitTorrent, the server can seed a given file to me in Tulsa at a mere 25.6KBps. Over HTTP, I can download the same file at my full cap.

It's wierdo, not weirdo. Yes, I know that's not the 'proper' spelling of the similar english language word.


funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6
reply to Karl Bode
said by Karl Bode:

quote:
That's a good point, but Cox somehow manages to do it, and I'm sure they suffer from exactly the same issues that Comcast does.
As an aside, Cox also uses the exact same packet forgery approach to throttle eDonkey traffic, but people generally ignored that when we pointed it out last year.
I'm 100% sure the same was happening with BitTorrent. My Cox partner in testing was having too many wireshark problems for me to be able to prove it, however. So the only evidence I had was anecdotal.

My confidence is based simply on the fact that Cox is using Sandvine and ED2K is an "also ran" as far as P2P protocols go. A USA cable MSO is not going to use Sandvine P2P policy enforcement without going after BitTorrent.
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- Hillsboro, Oregon
"We don't throttle any traffic," -Charlie Douglas, Comcast spokesman, on this report.


Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12
reply to djtr4in
said by djtr4in:

direct opti line to my house...same speed through out the day compared to comcast which slows at peak hours..6pm-9pm due to everyone in the area home from work and relaxing and browsing the net.
I also have a direct optical line to my house that is based upon BPON technology.

That doesn't negate the fact it's still shared at the neighborhood node.


TZi

join:2001-07-05
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Corydon
said by Corydon:

What I would like to see is a high cap on how much you can use the service in a month, one that would pretty much never catch 95% of their users (The MSOs routinely claim that only about 1% of users violate the invisible caps).
The reason these caps are "invisible" is because it would ultimately mean issuing a cap on a node-by-node basis which would be ridiculous considering most users don't even know what a bandwidth cap is. I don't even really think that Comcast even has a number that constitutes abuse, they simply identify users on a node which are consuming resources to the point that it is causing performance degradation and dealing with them accordingly.

If they told you don't transfer over XYZ amount a month then 100 subscribers signed on next month, that number would no longer be relevant or effective. So too, if 100 users cancelled next month and you were forced to adhere to XYZ that would mean loads of network capacity go unused which could be used to satisfy you as a subscriber.

I don't think comcast intends to hide the "invisible" cap from us, it's just that the number is ultimately dynamic.

As for a webpage that details your total transfer, there are several programs for windows (in fact windows itself) and some routers that can keep track of your total usage. While it is easy for satellite providers who have one central NOC to provide such usage statistics, it would be a nightmare for comcast who is constantly acquiring older systems, migrating recently acquired systems and building out new systems to aggregate all this data onto a webpage.
--
128kbps too much, 100GBps never enough!


funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6
Our uplinks are too small to blame any one or any few users on a performance degradation. It's like trying to blame a particular rainstorm or a particular sunny day on El Nino or Global Warming.

That said, in the past, I think they have acted reactively -- in just the way that you described. They either looked at nodes with high utilization or looked at nodes with a high number of complaints. Then they made "the warning call."

But within the past year or so, there has been a stronger campaign and it seems to me that they may have made "the warning call" to certain users proactively -- perhaps where they were about to add a 16Mbps tier or where they were about to launch Comcast Digital Voice.

said by TZi:

As for a webpage that details your total transfer, there are several programs for windows (in fact windows itself) and some routers that can keep track of your total usage. While it is easy for satellite providers who have one central NOC to provide such usage statistics, it would be a nightmare for comcast who is constantly acquiring older systems, migrating recently acquired systems and building out new systems to aggregate all this data onto a webpage.
Assuming that you are right, then fair enough. However after "the warning call," the user should be able to get some periodic self-monitoring feedback from the provider. Perhaps someone can manually grab the data each week and send it via e-mail to those under "the warning." This way, a user at risk can understand whether the high usage is something nefarious (like a virus or a leeching neighborhood) or accidental (a lousy remote-backup configuration, or someone watching an HD-quality video stream 24/7 and merely turning off the monitor before going to school).

Currently, the only feedback they get is whether or not you have Internet service 30 days after that warning call.
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- Hillsboro, Oregon
"We don't throttle any traffic," -Charlie Douglas, Comcast spokesman, on this report.

Samwoo

join:2002-02-15
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
reply to LeftOfSanity
Don't forget to mention... The INTERNET as a whole is a shared medium.
Who shares what nodes on the other hand is a difficult question.


DHRacer
Tech Monkey

join:2000-10-10
Lake Arrowhead, CA

1 edit
reply to Skippy25
"You do NOT purchase bandwidth to use 100% 24/7. You purchase it with them having the expectation that you will be an average user using the average amount of bandwidth."

So even though the connection is on, I can't use it? Why not? You don't sign up for speed tiers by "usage" (though maybe they should change the tiers from "speed" to "usage") since everyone seems to think that more speed = more usage.

I'm still wondering where in the TOS is says what an "average user" is, or an how much is an "average amount of bandwidth". I'd hate to be an over achiever.



FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to moonpuppy
said by moonpuppy:

said by FFH5:

Yes. And they should take actions to stop illegal content. And also to reign in the bandwidth hogs(top 5% of users).
How about some of that illegal spam bot action that seems to come from Comcast subscribers whose machines are infected?
Good point. They should take them offline until they get their machines cleaned.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page