Saturday, February 09, 2008

BitTorrent, legitimate use, and Comcast

While up here in Canada on a bit of a sabbatical I took the opportunity to spin up BitTorrent to get the latest distributions of Ubuntu, and will probably pick up Centos and others later.

Which brings me to my current topic: It seems that Shaw Cable up here is taking a book from Comcast and injecting bad packets into BitTorrent traffic. Comcast has amended its subscriber agreement to weasel out of the FCC investigation - the Register has the details.

"The company uses reasonable network management practices that are consistent with industry standards," the terms say. "Comcast tries to use tools and technologies that are minimally intrusive and, in its independent judgment guided by industry experience, among the best in class. Of course, the company's network management practices will change and evolve along with the uses of the Internet and the challenges and threats on the Internet."

RIAA & Co will have you believe that having a BitTorrent client installed is tantamount to being a criminal, since there is no such thing as legitimate use as far as they are concerned.

I don't believe Comcast's argument that file sharers using BitTorrent are degrading their network. Do you?

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Blogger Joseph Katz said...

The problem with Cable is the connection is shared... In my parents building there are 60 wireless signals (all secured) within range of our computers.

Until recently most people used cable, now since the building went to DirectTV for Condo's everyone had to replace their cable with DSL.

While Cable is faster, when you have 100's of people sharing the same cable, just a few people on Bit Torrent can negativity effect even the average cable modem user.

On the other hand use DSL users can cruise at maxumn speed and never effect anyone else, no matter how many episodes of Battlestar Galatica we download from Unbox.

2:11 PM  
Blogger jaydub said...


Ultimately all bandwidth is shared - if not on the first segment like cable, then on the one after it. So I think the argument is moot.

The DOCSIS standard also provides some ways to reduce congestion - of course, this requires the provider actually care about its customers and not have a monopoly.

10:07 AM  

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