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Thread: Comcast testing protocol-agnostic traffic management

  1. #1
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Comcast testing protocol-agnostic traffic management

    The increasing bandwidth used by various peer-to-peer applications has caused ISPs to scramble for ways to limit the impact of file sharing on network congestion. Time Warner Cable has responded by testing bandwidth caps that would make heavy users pay for the strain they place on the ISP's capacity. Others have taken a more direct approach, tackling the problem by interfering with P2P connections. Unfortunately for them, this approach has produced government investigations of this practice, possibly because legitimate businesses are using P2P technology. Comcast has now alerted its customers that it's ready to test a method that may get the FCC off its back: protocol-agnostic bandwidth throttling.

    Instead of targeting only a single networking protocol and limiting anyone using it, the new technique would appear to be a more rational approach. As Comcast describes the program, it will identify those users who are actually gobbling the most bandwidth and specifically attach limits to those users. According to the company's FAQ on the new service, "the technique measures only aggregate bandwidth consumption, not the protocol or content being used by customers." At times of high network traffic, these users will see have the flow of data to their machines constrained. "The network management technique manages those customers' Internet traffic until their usage falls below established bandwidth usage thresholds or until network congestion ends," Comcast's documents state. In effect, the heaviest bandwidth users will be forced to the back of the virtual line until the traffic jam has dissipated.

    E-mail notification of customers in the area of testing should start later this week. In a copy of the e-mail seen by Ars, users are being told that they will generally not notice any actual change in their connection's behavior: "Unless you are an extremely heavy user of Internet resources (which is not likely) you will not notice any change to your Internet experience during this test." Those that do detect a difference will simply see longer response times for some online activities, at least according to Comcast.
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...anagement.html



    Grrrrrrrrr.

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    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Ensures smooth internet for the majority of users!
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    Imperial Impotentate brembo's Avatar
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    YOSC is right, abuse the system at everyone elses expense and expect to get nailed for it.
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    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brembo View Post
    YOSC is right, abuse the system at everyone elses expense and expect to get nailed for it.
    That depends on what they consider abuse though. 10gb a month, 20gb, 50gb...


    Or will it just spot large downloads, its pretty vague on how its gonna work.

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    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YARDofSTUF View Post
    That depends on what they consider abuse though. 10gb a month, 20gb, 50gb...


    Or will it just spot large downloads, its pretty vague on how its gonna work.
    The general theory...is "Just stay off of their radar". The majority of it will be aimed at those flooring their connections 24x7.
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    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat View Post
    The general theory...is "Just stay off of their radar". The majority of it will be aimed at those flooring their connections 24x7.
    As a customer it would be nice to know my limits though. Its bad enough there is the invisible cap already.

  7. #7
    Garbage

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