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Old 04-06-2010, 07:42 PM   #1
jrrtoken
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Standard Oil of the 21st Century

(Or How Comcast Saved Valuable Intellectual Property!)

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A DC Circuit Court decision against the FCC today is the "shot heard 'round the world" in the battle over net neutrality. Comcast emerges victorious in challenging the authority of the FCC to impose sanctions for discriminating against peer-to-peer network traffic in an attempt to limit bandwidth consumption and manage its network.
TL;DR: Comcast, an American conglomerate of internet service, cable TV, and phone service, may now exercise discretion on what their customers may access on the Internets. The case in-question concerns a violation of FCC regulations by Comcast throttling BitTorrent traffic speeds. With this ruling, all ISPs in the US may essentially self-regulate their own networks with limited government oversight. As per Comcast's case, they may now effectively cripple the BitTorrent protocol on its network. Seeing as other ISPs as AT&T have also censored or throttled users accessing "undesirable content", this could well extend beyond "network management" to, as much as I hate to say it, Bradburian censorship. Thoughts?
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
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I didn't realize people on comcast held a connection long enough to torrent in the first place

If this was any other provider, I'd say it is "noble" but Comcast has been trying to screw its customers out of net usage forever. It nearly impossible to game stably on their network because they constantly call you and warn you that you are basically overstaying your welcome being constantly connected. I know they are the worst to MMO gamers.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:54 PM   #3
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i'm like the only living person to have very few problems with comcast. i've had fewer issues than my friends with fios.



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Old 04-06-2010, 10:06 PM   #4
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Well, if it isn't government censorship, it's corporate censorship. Pursuit of copyright is one thing, but where does it all end? Granted they're getting rid of piracy via torrents, but still...what next? Banning Deviantart because the word 'deviant' is in the URL name?

I'm already having a heluva time managing some new emails b/c youtube switched formats and is unaccommodating towards non gmail addys. Though I can't blame certain businesses and people getting away from Yahoo b/c it now treats everyone like spammers.

Aye...


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Old 04-07-2010, 12:33 PM   #5
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This could kill gamers as well as torrenters as gaming is not viewed as "normal" internet usage. So, comcast could reduce bandwidth connecting to gaming servers as well as torrents, and other things. Normally, I'd like to see the FCC wiped off the face of the map but I'm with them on this one. This decision is a blow to the consumers, and I'm thankful that my internet provider is not Comcast.


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Old 04-07-2010, 01:33 PM   #6
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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.


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Last edited by Samuel Dravis; 04-07-2010 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:17 PM   #7
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the problem I see here, as I mentioned before, is that Comcast now has carte blanche to apply their management to just about anything they want. As I said, I fully believe that Bittorrent traffic isn't the only thing that is going to suffer. Sure that's how they justify it now, but down the line they'll extend the same premise to anything they see fit.


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Old 04-07-2010, 04:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediAthos View Post
the problem I see here, as I mentioned before, is that Comcast now has carte blanche to apply their management to just about anything they want. As I said, I fully believe that Bittorrent traffic isn't the only thing that is going to suffer. Sure that's how they justify it now, but down the line they'll extend the same premise to anything they see fit.
So, if they do I will just move to the next provider. It isnít like they are holding a gun to my head forcing me to use Comcast.

No, jmac you are not alone. Iíve used Comcast for years and never had a problem with them. Even after Hurricane Ike they were up and running, too bad I could say the same thing for the electricity.


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Old 04-07-2010, 05:11 PM   #9
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I don't see why Comcast should have the power to dictate what others can access. While I do believe some form of moderation is needed on the internet, I don't believe Comcast is going about it right.


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Old 04-07-2010, 05:15 PM   #10
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So, if they do I will just move to the next provider. It isnít like they are holding a gun to my head forcing me to use Comcast.

True enough, and they aren't my internet provider...I just see it as being a concern for consumers in general. Other internet providers could choose to follow suit as well.


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Old 04-07-2010, 05:20 PM   #11
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True enough, and they aren't my internet provider...I just see it as being a concern for consumers in general. Other internet providers could choose to follow suit as well.
Sure they can, but when people move to the providers providing the service the consumer wants, then the others may change their tune.

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I don't see why Comcast should have the power to dictate what others can access.
They don't. They have the power over their own network. If you don't like the way they control their network then you can find another provider.


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Old 04-07-2010, 05:33 PM   #12
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They don't. They have the power over their own network. If you don't like the way they control their network then you can find another provider.
Assuming of course, one is available. It is not always the case.


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Old 04-07-2010, 11:18 PM   #13
Darth Avlectus
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Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis View Post
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.
I mean that in the relative sense that they are limiting what you can and can't access. Hope that clarifies.

Well that and ?I just wonder what is next to be banned because of bandwidth drain. We already hit torrents and gaming...maybe stocks and trade...

Quote:
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.
Well, since you put it that way in terms of gov't control, good point.


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Old 04-08-2010, 02:19 AM   #14
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Well, since you put it that way in terms of gov't control, good point.
Except that court cases are often a motivation for CHANGING the law, like ya know, Brown v Board of Education, and Roe v Wade. Just because a law exists does not mean that a court can't rule in a manner which is opposed to the law, therefore striking a blow AGAINST the law, and therefore weakening it's future relevance.


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Old 04-11-2010, 06:20 AM   #15
Darth Avlectus
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Ah just as a general philosophy I am against unsubstantiated regulation. That isn't to say I want them out of the loop completely. Though if torrenting stuff and the like is usually for illegal activity then really...even were the gov't successful in this case I don't see them supporting it either.

Still, I don't like taking torrents out of the picture completely as there are still legit purposes for it. Maybe limit it to only so much bandwidth per IP so that it is not a significant drain on the overall ability of a company's network.


"I cant see S***! --YOU GO TO HELL!" --Tourettes guy
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:42 PM   #16
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This has been the trend coming from comcast for a while now...they cap speeds, cap usage, etc. They're desperate because they're running out of bandwidth.

Go FiOS if you can get it b/c anything is better than rotten comcast.



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