Comcast declares war on BitTorrent

According to TorrentFreak, Comcast has decide to go one step further than the BitTorrent throttling that is increasingly practiced on most ISPs over the last two years.

In the last couple of weeks, more and more Comcast users have started to notice that their BitTorrent transfers were cut off. Other Comcast users reported a significant decrease in download speeds as well as an inability to see their downloads.

It appears that these new aggressive measures cannot be circumvented by merely enabling encryption in one's BitTorrent client. It is reported that an application from Sandvine has been utilized to throttle the BitTorrent traffic.

This brings into the forefront once again the perennial grouses between an ISP and its customers on just what kind of network utilization is "fair."

Below is an excerpt from the article at TorrentFreak.

From an ISP's perspective:

The fact is, P2P is (from ym point of view) a plague - a cancer, that will consume all the bandwidth that [the ISP] can provide. It's an insatiable appetite.

P2P applications can cripple a network, they're like leaches. Just because you pay 49.99 for a 1.5-3.0mbps connection doesn't mean you're entitled to use whatever protocols you wish on your ISP's network without them provisioning it to make the network experience good for all users involved.

From the user's perspective:

If you pay for an Internet connection, that's what you should get from your ISP - an Internet connection. Not a connection that will let you browse the Web and check e-mail, but little else.

Users finding themselves in a similar situation are advised by TorrentFreak to first enable their BitTorrent encryption, and if that fails, to set up a VPN connection.

Being an IT professional,  someone making a living somewhere between the ISP (the rock?) and the end user (the hard place?), what do you have to say about this whole affair? Also, what policies do you enforce pertaining to traffic on your local network?


Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

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