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Old 04-07-2010, 01:33 PM   #6
Samuel Dravis
 
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On the other hand, if some guy in a basement downloading half of the internet is killing the connection speed of everyone else in the neighborhood cable network because some yahoos said a provider can't manage their network even in the best interests of their clients, I'd be angry. It's one thing (and wrong!) to discriminate against Bittorrent et al when there isn't any congestion, but when when there is, I'd prefer to have at least some ability to, I don't know, check my email? This isn't about censorship, it's about limited bandwidth. And while we all would like to have an infinite amount, this is the real world.

Basement-guy can go on about his rights and all that, but in that situation he's just being a 1) myopically selfish, and 2) unrealistic in his expectations of his connection. Now, he might have cause to complain about 2-- but whether or not the company should have invested in better hardware to improve bandwidth is not what the topic is about.

I am unsure of the exact circumstances of Comcast's decision making, but on the face of it these things are true:

The government had no mandate to interfere with Comcast's management of its network;
Limiting Bittorrent traffic speeds to provide a reasonable amount of service to the majority of their subscribers is well within Comcast's rights, and perhaps even moral obligations, during high-traffic periods.

The judge's ruling is perfectly fine. If people dislike the law, then the law should be changed. But I don't like the idea of government entities doing whatever they want, without a mandate, even if it is perceived as a good in the short term. The FCC was out of bounds when they required Comcast to stop shaping BT traffic and that they got slapped down was a good thing for anyone who likes old fashioned things like the rule of law.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein

Last edited by Samuel Dravis; 04-07-2010 at 02:56 PM.
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