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Comcast Responds To Traffic Shaping Accusations
But chooses their words carefully....
by Karl Bode 06:10PM Tuesday Aug 21 2007
We (and other outlets we've spoken to) have been trying to get Comcast to comment on reports that the company has started using Sandvine gear to disrupt the seeding of BitTorrent files. Comcast picked Light Reading to issue their first denial of wrongdoing, chosing their words carefully in response to the allegations of preferential traffic treatment:
"We're not blocking access to any application, and we don't throttle any traffic," says Charlie Douglas, a Comcast spokesman. Douglas didn't explicitly deny the use of deep packet inspection or traffic shaping products. "[Comcast] has a responsibility to manage our network to ensure our customers have the best service, and we use available technologies to do so."
Keep in mind that the allegations that surfaced in our forums and were also highlighted in a Torrent Freak report note that Comcast is using the Sandvine gear to limit the ability to seed Torrent files effectively in some markets, not necessarily throttle available bandwidth or restrict application access.

So are we going to be playing a game of semantics as the practices of our Canadian neighbors trickle down to U.S. cable operators? RCN does something similar, but is very forthcoming. Time Warner Cable denies traffic shaping whatsoever despite evidence otherwise.

While U.S. cable ops offer faster speeds than DSL operators, the practice of download caps and traffic shaping could neutralize that marketing advantage. These ISPs are very aware of your thoughts on this issue. The volume of traffic shaping they implement will depend on how much you're willing to tolerate.

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