Broadband

Legit Web video distributor asks FCC to stop ISP traffic throttling

A Web-based distributor of online video content has filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, asking for traffic throttling be prohibited by ISPs. The petition was filed by Vuze, which uses the BitTorrent protocol to distribute its contents.
A Web-based distributor of online video content has filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, asking for traffic throttling be prohibited by ISPs. The petition was filed by Vuze, which uses the BitTorrent protocol to distribute its contents.

Gilles BianRosa, CEO of Vuze, said, "The ISPs cannot decide unilaterally what to do with third-party Internet services such as us," stressing the need of designing a solution that works and is fair.

Excerpt from PC World:

Broadband providers often promote their services as being necessary for watching video online, but then they slow access to a service like Vuze's, said John Fernandes, Vuze's vice president of marketing. "They say that they're engaging in reasonable network management, but what they're doing is slowing down some traffic," he said.

Additional information about Vuze:

Vuze, based in Palo Alto, California, distributes video in partnership with movie studios and television networks including the BBC, Showtime and PBS. It also distributes PC games, music videos, and audio files. Company officials say the Vuze client has been installed by customers more than 12 million times since the company, formerly called Azureus, rebranded itself in January.

We have previously reported on bandwidth throttling of the BitTorrent protocol by ISPs such as Comcast.

Do you think that this bandwidth throttling issue is serious enough to warrant the FCC's stepping in?

About

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.

6 comments
paulmah
paulmah

Do you think that this bandwidth throttling issue is serious enough to warrant the FCC?s stepping in?

diceman70
diceman70

Well, personally, I think streaming video over the Internet for amusement & entertainment value is fist, overrated, second unnecessary, and third, a waste of bandwidth needed for real needs & communication. With VOIP coming to be common in almost every neighborhood today, mere telephone conversation is soon going to rely on the availability of Internet bandwidth to take place. With companies such as Zune swallowing up this bandwidth used by businesses & home owners for important, and yes, I mean IMPORTANT communication needs, not watching a damn video or news feed, ISP networks will become congested without throttling to keep control over those resource hogs. Anyone who wants to see a video or news feed needs to "unplug" their butt from their computer & watch it on their TV. There's no reason in the world why someone needs to be sitting at a computer all hours of the day for all aspects of their life. The video quality you see on a streaming video with a computer is nothing short of crappy, anyway. It's just a "gee-whiz" thing that, in my opinion, is a waste of resources. Like everyone, when it first came available, I thought it was neat, but when I objectively looked at what I was doing...watching a 2.5" video on a 21 inch monitor, I had to take a sanity check. I think it's time everyone else did, too. And protocols like BitTorrent DEFINITELY need to be throttled because of the millions of users dragging files & data through that protocol 24 hours a day would have their ISP gasping for air if left unchecked. I own a consulting business, so my livelihood revolves around computers & technology. If companies like Zune want to provide thier service, I'm all for it, but let them buy their own dedicated bandwidth & mark it up to the cost of doing business instead of trying to force ISPs to take on the extra resources to handle them. If the FTC rules in favor of removing the bandwidth control ISPs can enforce, I hope providers just simply say, 'sorry, can't provide that for you' and move on. The FTC can tell them they have to lift the control, but they can't tell them they have to provide service for bandwidth hogs.

fox_iacmnf
fox_iacmnf

Companies like Vuze and Blizzard Entertainment use BitTorrent as a means of getting bandwidth without paying for it. Instead of paying for enough bandwidth to download data to consumers, they are taking advantage of the fact that most consumers have "flat rate" Intenet connections and are using the upstream bandwidth of those connections -- without the users' knowledge -- to transmit their data. Who loses? Primarily the ISP, who incurs the extra burden of transmitting the data. Should the ISPs limit the impact on their wallets? Yes, or they'll have to raise fees to subscribers.

zetacon4
zetacon4

I found out first-hand how Comcast treats bittorent protocol traffic. I had to shut down my bittorent app. Comcast was doing something to my router to bog down ALL my traffic! They need to learn to keep their hands off traffic. We pay for the bandwidth. They provide it. End of interaction.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

the current structure of the internet is best served when hi-bandwidth apps (read bittorrent) are on hi speed connected servers in data centers, not on low speed conx that are sharing that bandwidth with other local users. But users don't put bittorrent on DC servers as they don't have a real biz use and aren't willing to pay for it and likely would be shut down for swapping stolen files. Whine, WHine, Whine; I would hazard that you are bandwidth HOG, and that is greedy and self centered. You slow everyone else down so that you can swap large files. Not necessarily but most likely illegal copies of movies and music. If you had a real biz you'd setup a web server and put the files there. I've got a ISP DC site with unlimited disk space on their high speed connected server for $90/year. So someone trying to use a real-time app like Skype or other VoIP should pay because you are a hog? Sure this place might be a legit video distributor, but how stupid is it to pick as your biz model distributing videos over the slowest part of the internet, i.e. from the end user's PCs and end users slow connections. It won't work until everyone has a much higher speed conx than now and we shouldn't be slowed down by these dopey people demanding they pig out at the bandwidth trough. If it is in fact a biz they can afford to put the files on a webserver. This is just about as stupid as a company suggesting they can get rid of file servers and just put large hard disks spread around the company. In a few instances it might work but the typical company like the internet is not structured for this. I think this will only be solved in the end when all end users are hooked by direct conx such as FO to the net. Cable conx are nice till someone breaks the rules and tries to hog all of it.

n3o.h4cker
n3o.h4cker

The Purpose of BitTorrent was to mediate the high overhead costs of having bandwidth in the hundreds of Gigabit/s that would be needed to serve up 'connx' like you are proposing. One can keep getting more and more bandwidth and paying ten's of thousands of dollars. Or one could use something like BitTorrent which is a distributed bandwidth model (keeping the costs manageable). Also, not every one needs a higher speed 'connx' than the already have...We just need more People running BitTorrent over different ISPs/'connx'; which will require less bandwidth per 'connx'/ISP. So, in my Frank Words. Take you DC Site and Shove it. Long Live BitTorrent/uTorrent/etc and stick it to the man.

Editor's Picks