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ISPs Experimenting With New P2P Controls 173

Posted by Soulskill
from the diamond-in-the-rough dept.
alphadogg points us to a NetworkWorld story about the search by ISPs for new ways to combat the web traffic issues caused by P2P applications. Among the typical suggestions of bandwidth caps and usage-based pricing, telecom panelists at a recent conference also discussed localized "cache servers," which would hold recent (legal) P2P content in order to keep clients from reaching halfway around the world for parts of a file. "ISPs' methods for managing P2P traffic have come under intense scrutiny in recent months after the Associated Press reported last year that Comcast was actively interfering with P2P users' ability to upload files by sending TCP RST packets that informed them that their connection would have to be reset. While speakers rejected that Comcast method, some said it was time to follow the lead of Comcast and begin implementing caps for individual users who are consuming disproportionately high amounts of bandwidth."
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ISPs Experimenting With New P2P Controls

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  • less peering (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:10PM (#23880447) Homepage
    give increased speeds when you don't leave the network. downloads will complete faster, so less peering will be done.
    • by Odder (1288958) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:17PM (#23880527)

      Here's how media companies will kill the free internet we all know and love:

      "Legitimate" media caches and disruption of all other P2P traffic only makes step one worse. They will continue to slow the rest to lower than their heavily filtered networks can deliver. The result will look like broadcast media does today, one big corporate billboard, instead of a free press. Part of censorship is shouting louder than others.

      Yeah, I've said this before [slashdot.org]. As long as ISPs have the same story, so will I.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by negRo_slim (636783)

        "Legitimate" media caches and disruption of all other P2P traffic only makes step one worse.
        It's a tiered internet in disguise, one step at a time. Not only that it's a double edged sword... I download OpenOffice via p2p, but in reality I assume the "legitimate" cache would be so far under utilized they would take the numbers to congress as some measure of "proof" to pass anti-p2p legislation.
      • A while ago I read an article about how 33.6 modems would go extremely fast if the infrastructure of the internet was more up to date hardware wise. Is there any truth to that? It seems like the ISP's are on one hand limiting bandwidth to limit any sort of competition in the media department they may have, and on the other hand limiting their speeds because they don't have the technology in place to handle people using the internet. At least that's what I've gleaned from the various articles on ISP connecti
  • > which would hold recent (legal) P2P content ...

    Yeah -- THAT will solve P2P congestion. (Morons)

    • Re:Legal content? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:54PM (#23880863)

      No, but it will be a good "proof" for the argument against P2P. Akin to "See? We have caches with all the legal P2P content and yet no decline in P2P traffic. So it's proven that P2P is mainly used for illegal means".

      Yes, I know it's no proof. Tell your congressman, not me.

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        We have caches with all the legal P2P content and yet no decline in P2P traffic. So it's proven that P2P is mainly used for illegal means".

        But how do they know what is and isn't legal content?

        Since they don't have common carrier status it is illegal for them to cache all the illegal content I download.

  • by fohat (168135) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:12PM (#23880471) Homepage
    ISP's to quit offering unlimited service, or stop overselling what they have. What's the point of having a 15 or 20 Megabit downstream, when I can only download 50 Gigabytes of traffic per month? Because i'm sure as hell not going back to renting my porn from the video store...
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:57PM (#23880883)

      It's a bit like having a 300hp car but only fuel for a mile.

      Yay for car analogies! But this one at least works.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ok, really, do you *need* more than 50 gigs of porn a month? I get buy on only 30 gigs a month, I'm sure you can do the same.

    • by Propaganda13 (312548) on Friday June 20, 2008 @08:12PM (#23880981)

      ISP: We offer "unlimited" internet access.
      Customer: Sweet! *starts downloading*
      ISP: Oh, we didn't mean you should use it.

      They advertise a low price and a high speed, then oversell to get that price then reduce the high speed because of it. Hmm, methinks they need more truth in advertising.

      • The only thing preventing it from being full-blown bait-and-switch fraud is the excuse that they tell you up-front that it's not really unlimited (at the bottom of section 475, paragraph q3 sub-paragraph MLCXVIII clause 1111!!eleventy-one).

        I say if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck...

        • by MachDelta (704883)
          I ran into a problem with an old ISP over this. I was "using too much bandwidth" even though they refused to tell me what exactly "too much" was. I told them their service says "unlimited". Well, turns out their "unlimited" claim supposedly means "unlimited access", as in available 24/7 (and they couldn't even always manage that!), not "unlimited traffic".

          So I told them that they could go to hell and that I would be taking my internet and TV services elsewhere. At this point they began groveling at my fe
          • We recently pleasure of telling both comcast AND verizon to f*ck off as we also have RCN in our area. Not only are they cheaper, but download speeds have are about 3x faster in some cases.

            What comcast hasn't admitted is that they apparently throttle ALL downloads: I could only ever get about 750 KB/s when downloading large files, whereas the same files from the same sites (ftp's of linux distro ISO's from university servers) download at roughly 2400 KB/s via RCN. Ping times are basically the same. I alwa

        • by jamesh (87723)

          In Australia I think they aren't allowed to make a claim in large print that is contradicted by fine print. So they aren't allowed to say <Large Print>Unlimited*</Large Print> and then <Small Print>* Not really</Small Print>

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I'm quite happy with my unlimited service. After taking one ISP's (almost) top 8MB package and quickly (within days) getting cut off for overuse, I switched to a UK ISP (entanet reseller) that offers a truly unlimited connection at 2MB, albeit for a *little* more than usual. I know they mean it, because their other packages list transfer limits like 320GB per month off peak, and this one simply says n/a under those columns. Just in case, I saved a copy of the package comparison page though.

        You CAN still

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228)
      The problem with so called tiered service is how badly they low ball you. Here in my little home town was my choices: 20Gb per month for $35 or 36Gb a month for $33. The absolute biggest I can buy without getting my own T1 is 75Gb for $110. And neither service gives you a tool to monitor bandwidth. Because that way you'll always use less than what they give you because you're afraid of going over the cap and getting hit with $1.50 or $1 a Gb respectively.

      IMHO once everyone goes tiered you can kiss a lot

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Maxo-Texas (864189)

        The hole in this is the huge microsoft patches and downloads (tho the largest I ever got was double digit megabytes- never gigabytes).

        • by hairyfeet (841228)
          Ah,I take it you didn't read the latest on tiered pricing then? That was brought up and the ISPs were quick to point out that all Windows updates will NOT count toward your cap. Which of course sticks another nail in FLOSS,because its updates WILL count,giving just one more reason to run Microsoft. Don't forget big business LOVES Microsoft,as Microsoft will happily let them add all the DRM hooks they want. But that is my 02c,YMMV
  • by spazdor (902907) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:13PM (#23880487)

    This is all we need. The problem is not that the providers aren't giving us enough bandwidth (they aren't). The problem is that they care what we spend it on.

  • This is no good... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vectronic (1221470) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:15PM (#23880505)

    Ok so, my ISP (theoretically) wants to keep the data my neighbour has downloaded, incase I want to download it to.

    Yet, obviously these caches will have to be legal content, which means filtering out illegal content, which means they will be tracking everything I download, and thus, can force me to 1) pay more for this, 2) notify appropriate authorities, 3) limit my interaction with the rest of the world via the internet.

    Although as stated in the article/summary its supposedly "temporary" but this means that ISP will have to start gathering massive amounts of storage, inevtiably making one ISP better at this than another, and hey fuck it, lets just have one ISP... and the internet just becomes Wikipedia.

    I honestly can't see any benefit to this, it seems to just end up with steralization whichever way I look at it.

    • by taniwha (70410) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:40PM (#23880753) Homepage Journal
      well all that's potentially happening is that your ISP is joining your torrents but only serving those in particular IP ranges, but really really fast - to me this is an added benefit, I'd probably choose an ISP that carries the latest kernel downloads locally - it's not really any different than a html proxy cache (except that because the torrents are crypto corrected an ISP can't inject ads into them)
      • by Vectronic (1221470) on Friday June 20, 2008 @08:05PM (#23880937)

        Yeah I'm aware of that, and I agree completely, the problem is can you actually see an ISP (outside of smaller, barely making a profit, looking for clientele please join us ISPs) doing that so honestly?

        That was sort of my point, in the immediate conclusion it seems like a great idea, but it gives far too much power to the ISP, or even more power to the government to control what the ISP can do.

        It will make sponsored content (Windows Update, Fox News, etc) the primary purpose of the cache after awhile, it is a business after all.

        People without the money to pay ISPs or Governors, or whatever to get their content approved for cache, will be on this lesser accessed, slower WWW, making it a pain to get real information or media, and since people are fundamentally lazy, they will inevitably give in, and just go with "what works, right now!"

      • by Triv (181010) on Friday June 20, 2008 @08:10PM (#23880969) Journal

        I'd probably choose an ISP that carries the latest kernel downloads locally...


        hahahahaha. You think the ISPs are going to start caching the Linux kernel? Where's the money in that? Now, if you want the latest Britney Spears video (kickbacks for promotion from the RIAA) or movie trailers (ditto from the MPAA) or game demos, you're set.

        You gotta understand, to the content distribution companies, "legal P2P" = "free shit that we'll give you under the hope that you'll spend money later". Linux absolutely isn't on that list.

        • by taniwha (70410)
          I live in NZ - "locally" means "this side of the Pacific" - I pay by the Gb - which goes to pay for that fibre between you and me - since I pay for the Gb wherever the packets come from and my ISP pays for however much of the fibre is used then caching each and every torrent is in their interest

          The same thing applies to everyone, but maybe not quite so extremely (replace "fibre" with "peering")

    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday June 20, 2008 @11:13PM (#23881967)

      Yet, obviously these caches will have to be legal content, which means filtering out illegal content,
      I don't know if you can make that assumption. We have a mechanism in place by which an ISP is essentially given immunity for hosting 'illegal content' - the much maligned DMCA notice. As long as they respond to DMCA notices, they have very little legal liability.


      It seems plausible, at least, that an ISP could deploy a 'torrent sniffer' that automatically joined the swarms of any torrents that the ISP's users were in and then started to serve only local users from its cache. It might be possible to become a tracker spoofer such that the ISP could start redirecting all requests for cached content to itself rather than out over the (expensive/bottlneck) of peered connections.

      So every once in a while they have to respond to a DMCA notice and kill a cache. Its not the end of the world, eventually someone else will come along and start a new torrent for the same content anyway and the game begins again.

      Unfortunately, I think the only reason ISPs are not more interested in something like that which would deliberately follow the letter of the law is that they want to make nice-nice with the MAFIAA so that they can resell MAFIAA content directly to their own subscribers. If ISPs would stick to being INTERNET service providers and stop trying to diversify into being CONTENT providers I think we would already see such automated 'blind-eye' caching mechanisms in place.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Support multicast. If you build it, they will come and make a multicast P2P program on top of it, relieving your backbone connections of all the redundant connections.

    • Hell even without p2p multicasting it would help, the direct competitor to illegal P2P is illegal flash streams, multicasting giving them a boost would seriously reduce P2P.

    • by N7DR (536428) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:59PM (#23880897) Homepage
      Support multicast

      Cable companies use the DOCSIS specifications: multicast is pretty feeble (I won't argue with you if you say "broken") in the versions of DOCSIS that are currently deployed. However, that changes in DOCSIS 3.0. It is one of the "big three" benefits in DOCSIS 3.0 (the others being channel bonding and IPv6 support). DOCSIS 3.0 will probably start being rolled out by at least some cable companies next year.

  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:18PM (#23880537)

    How about they roll out the infrastructure we paid for with our tax dollars, then not apply any "controls".

    you know, a proper, neutral internet that fulfills the promises they made again and again to our government officials when they were given grants, local monopolies, etc. etc.

    • by burnin1965 (535071) on Friday June 20, 2008 @08:25PM (#23881081) Homepage

      And where is the government we paid for? They should be seriously thumping these clowns over the head for even considering "combating internet traffic" which is clearly the type of traffic intended when the 1996 Telecommunication Act [fcc.gov] was passed and the deregulation started.

      Section 706 paragraph (c) line 1 states:

      (1) ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITY- The term
                                  `advanced telecommunications capability' is defined, without
                                  regard to any transmission media or technology, as high-speed,
                                  switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables
                                  users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data,
                                  graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.

      The key here being enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video, thats right, originate AND receive. Somebody clue these dolts in to the fact the internet is not TV 2.0.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with the way subscribers are utilizing their ISPs, this is exactly as it was envisioned by the authors of the 1996 Act. Imagine that, government officials having better vision for the future of technological advancement in telecommunications than the people running the companies. I can tell you why, the problem is also the clueless bean counters and MBAs could care less about technology, innovations, etc. and would demand a monthly fee just cause if they could get away with it. These people should be running illegal whore houses and extortion rackets, not technology corporations.

      If our government doesn't step in and force these bozos to provide the service they advertise and were given deregulation perks for then we may need to step in and explain that they don't own our back yards through which they run their damned cables, I deserve a tariff since its my land they're hauling all those bits through.

      • These issues are complex, but going by the article summary I'm not sure we're all on the same page.

        It sounded (to me) like they're looking for ways to maintain internet traffic, but help alleviate some of the costs of that traffic by using caches. Just because you pledge to allow certain levels of users access, it doesn't mean you have to provide them with that functionality in the MOST expensive way possible.

        If they want to brain storm on ways to improve the means, I say have at it.
        Also I see nothing wrong

        • by vertinox (846076)

          It stopped being a "business" as soon as they accepted tax payer money. IMO they are free to do as they please as soon as they give the money back.

          The funny thing about telcos and cable companies is they are de facto monopolies that are allowed by the FCC and DoJ. Its about a socialistic as you can get other than the fact these companies are publicly traded.

      • So by that I have the legal right to run a server and I can tell my ISP to fuck off and die?

  • alt.binaries (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bassakward (823721) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:19PM (#23880553)
    Isn't this just what alt.binaries was doing for the ISPs? Local caching? And they just got rid of those.
  • 1 - sort of defeats the purpose
    2 - id rather them not know what i'm getting, be it legal or not.

  • by MrKaos (858439) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:21PM (#23880583) Journal
    My ISP very cleverly tells me I can download 12gb per month, which is true. What they don't tell me is anything I upload when I'm peering is also counted to the 12Gb total.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Vectronic (1221470)

      Curious, how do you know you have downloaded (and/or uploaded) 12GBs?

      I mean I doubt you grab the calculator everytime you download a file, or a webpage is finished loading... They could even be inserting corrupt packets, and including that in the 12GB total, or what about ICMP, Ping, DNS's lookups... surely thats included aswell, which is probably in at least the 10's probably the hundreds of MB's after 12GB's...

      "no no, see this graph? says there it was 12 GBs"

      Ive always gone for the DL/UL limited ISP's cau

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hankwang (413283) *

        I mean I doubt you grab the calculator everytime you download a file, or a webpage is finished loading...

        My ISP tells it somewhere on the web interface for my account settings. Moreover, the web interface to your ADSL modem probably also shows it somewhere, at least since the last reboot.

        • by plasmacutter (901737) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:51PM (#23880833)

          I mean I doubt you grab the calculator everytime you download a file, or a webpage is finished loading...

          My ISP tells it somewhere on the web interface for my account settings. Moreover, the web interface to your ADSL modem probably also shows it somewhere, at least since the last reboot.

          ah, and I'd trust my ISP for accurate metering. it is in their best interest to provide you the full service, right?
          • Shit man, I hate bandwidth caps too, but do you treat the electric company meterman with such disdain? I just have to trust the dial on the meter, I don't add up all my appliance use for the month.

            Also on a computer it is trivial to log your total Upstream/downstream usage for the month.

            • the electric company is subject to strict state regulation as a monopoly.

              the telecoms providing the internet are still referred to as "the free market".

              one involves oversight and accountability, the other does not : /

              when net neutrality laws get passed, this difference should vanish.

        • by Vectronic (1221470) on Friday June 20, 2008 @09:17PM (#23881453)

          Yeah, the ISP usually has a meter, but like Plasmacutter said, you trust it based on what?

          And yes, most Modems, and also Routers have some sort of tracking... my modem doesn't however (Motorola SB5101), only various statistics about the signal/frequency/channels/Hz/etc...

          And my router (D-Link EBR-2310) has WAN and LAN packet count, however does not say anything about the size of the packets.

          Granted both are cheap pieces of shit, but so are most for home use...

          And your OS can track it to some degree aswell, but what if you restart and forgot to write the last amount down?

          But, I was just saying, how do you know that what you have sent and received is only what was necessary? it could easily be fudged intentionally, inadvertently by poor hardware, etc, or by miscalculations on any one of those steps. It's not accurate enough to really base a service on, at least not so strictly 12 GBs Maximum, it's like charging telephone calls per syllable, it would be an approximation because of different languages, accents, etc.

          • by kailoran (887304)

            Yeah, the ISP usually has a meter, but like Plasmacutter said, you trust it based on what?

            I'd wager it's based on observing that after downloading a linux ISO and some web surfing the meter showed 700-some MB more the day after. I had usage caps, and was not trusting them implicitly, but, well, they seemed honest enough.

            And a few months later the monopolist ISP was forced to drop the caps and offer real unlimited services. Forced by government-induced free market situation (mandatory copper sharing for a set price) and customers flocking to competitors' services en masse. That was over a year

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        Curious, how do you know you have downloaded (and/or uploaded) 12GBs?

        Are you serious? its not exactly rocket science.
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:29PM (#23880649)

    how about we also have http controls, and mms controls, and...

    oh wait those are not being continuously vilified by the MAFIAA, who also own the news.

  • by NoobixCube (1133473) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:31PM (#23880669) Journal
    Having a local cache server, while it does spark privacy concerns, is actually probably the best solution they've come up with yet. ISPs won't have to spend a great deal of money on upgrading infrastructure, and users don't get shafted by reset packages. It's something of a compromise between doing it the right way (upgrading everything) and the wrong way (strangling the users).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      Answer me one question before applauding the idea: How are they going to discriminate between legal and illegal content without looking at what you're downloading?

      • They can't, and I acknowledged the privacy concern, and I'm not applauding it yet. If they didn't discriminate at all, it would be excellent, but thanks to capitalism, greed and corruption, the **AA have their fingers in too many pies. ISPs already spy on us all the time, so it's not like we're losing anything we haven't already lost. I like my privacy, but I'm under no illusion I actually HAVE any.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by burris (122191)

        They don't need to discriminate between "legal and illegal" any more than they do now for HTTP caches, which is not at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by John_Sauter (595980)

        Answer me one question before applauding the idea: How are they going to discriminate between legal and illegal content without looking at what you're downloading?

        They can't. Even if they know for sure what you are downloading, they have no way of knowing whether or not you have the permission of the copyright owner to download it. They are saying "legal" to avoid a pre-emptive attack by the RIAA. When the cache is installed, it will turn out that it doesn't discriminate, and they hope the RIAA won't be

        • Agreed. It would probably be hard for the content "owners" to know whether a particular piece of content had in fact been cached, and even if they could prove it, common carrier status would probably apply to the ISP. I'm naturally cautious about the motivations of corporations, but some people here are being overly paranoid IMO.

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      ISPs won't have to spend a great deal of money on upgrading infrastructure,
      But is that really a good thing?

      If they had done that in the first place they wouldn't be in this mess.

  • I don't see a whole lot of difference in legality between this and hosting newsgroup messages. Legit reasons for both.

  • by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:33PM (#23880683) Homepage

    I don't know why people keep getting hung up on legal vs. illegal content; the law clearly says that ISPs have no copyright liability for their caches:

    http://www.bitlaw.com/source/17usc/512.html [bitlaw.com]

    • by TheLink (130905)
      But all someone needs to do is scream "They are distributing child porn!" and everyone loses their minds :).
  • by EWAdams (953502) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:35PM (#23880697) Homepage


    I'm told I get 10 MBPS. As far as I'm concerned, that means 10 MPBS 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for as long as I pay my bill. Any effort to throttle that back and I sue for false advertising.

    • Please go ahead. We have just bought immunity. MWhaaaaa!!!

    • I'm told I get 10 MBPS.

      Wow would I like to be on a system like that!!!

      Or did you possibly mean: 10 M b PS?

  • by BountyX (1227176) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:36PM (#23880711)
    I hate to applaud AT&T on anything, but they have made a ginuwine commitment to a nuetral network refusing to partake in shaping until forced by legislation or until they find a solution that dosn't hurt their customer base. All it takes for traffic shaping to fail is for one person so not do it...then everyone goes to that one person. At the same time AT&T is rolling out increased infrastructure. I upload consistently at 112 kps almost 24/7 (I backup 10 gig files almost daily to colocated servers). My clients cable provider disconnects their internet if excessive upstream is detected...it seems like this is more of an issue for the cable companies rather than dsl providers becuase DSL providers sell dedicated BW as opposed to portions of shared BW (like cable does).
    • it seems like this is more of an issue for the cable companies rather than dsl providers becuase DSL providers sell dedicated BW as opposed to portions of shared BW (like cable does).
      The pipe out of the DSLAM is just as shared as the channel in a DOCSIS cable network.
  • by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:39PM (#23880743)
    1. Cache known legal content to improve download performance.
    2. Significantly reduce performance of content with "unknown" legal status.
    3. Result: legal content gets preferential treatment so legal downloading performs better.
    4. Non-"neutral" treatment completely justified by the war against contraband.
    5. Hit content providers for kickbacks, those that don't pay get their content treated as "unknown" legal status.
    6. PROFIT!

  • by drDugan (219551) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:40PM (#23880755) Homepage

    P2P shifts costs of distribution from central servers and spreads the load out among the downloaders. This is *helpful*, and it is more equitable given that the marginal costs of data copying is near zero - pushing the price of downloaded content lower and lower.

    The pricing seems like such a non issue. The elephant in the room is that companies like Comcast are making a killing, taking a ton of money selling services that largely go unused. many service businesses over sell their capacity to ensure high usage rates, but broadband has taken it to an absolute extreme.

    The obvious and easy solution is for providers of cable and DSL services to price their offerings according to usage, and when it comes to bandwidth, the accurate solution is 95% billing: you use a ton of bandwidth, the customer gets charged more. They don't really want to do this though - they make a lot more money buying in bulk and selling little access services for much higher rates than the bandwidth used.

    One huge upside of changing the pricing system for home Internet to 95% billing is that you don't have to go metering and capping bandwidth to homes. People could get an *extremely* fast connection, but if they utilize it fully 24/7 then they get billed a high rate. This is not that complex a concept to implement technically.

    • With flat rate pricing, P2P shifts the cost of distribution from the content provider to the ISP... AND multiplies it several hundredfold in the process, because bandwidth at the edges of the network is much more costly than bandwidth at a server farm or NAP. While congestion is also a concern, this cost shifting is the main reason why ISPs throttle or block P2P. Why should an ISP let a content provider like Blizzard, which is already rolling in the dough, set up a server on its network without permission o
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:41PM (#23880763)
    You should be allowed to use the bandwidth you paid for as you please. It's not your ISP's business what you decide to do with what they sold you. Whether it's downloading via BT, or watching video on Hulu, no one else should be trying to decide which are Good Bits and which are Bad Bits.
    • by smoker2 (750216)
      While what you say is true, consider the all you can eat analogy.
      If a restaurant offers an all you can eat buffet, then everybody hits one particular dish, it prevents people from getting to the other dishes, and causes congestion on the one dish every body wants.
      Surely it is up to the provider to try and organise demand to improve the traffic. Either that or get the users to change their habits (good luck with that).
      Too many users using p2p is not the issue, traffic congestion is. Notice how they want to s
    • Actually, "all you can eat" service is analogous to an "all you can eat" buffet. There are rules: You can't take food out; you can't waste it; you can't give it to someone who hasn't paid. The same is true of "all you can eat" broadband. P2P takes bandwidth from the ISP for the benefit of a third party that has not paid: the content provider. And it wastes it, because P2P is much less efficient than a straight, simple download. An ISP has every right to prohibit this sort of behavior, just as the buffet own
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have Comcast, and I've never experienced any traffic shaping or throttling.

    Their policy, now that it's no longer P2P specific, seems sane.

    Two conditions have to be met for them to throttle your traffic:

    1) You have to be one of their heavy heavy users. By heavy, I mean torrenting 24/7.
    2) The network has to be congested at that moment.

    If granny next door can't check her email because you're downloading/uploading pron all day every day, they reserve the right to throttle back your connection until the conges

    • by compro01 (777531)

      I have Comcast, and I've never experienced any traffic shaping or throttling.
      A question : Do you have other options for your broadband?

      I have yet to hear of comcast throttling anywhere that the users have other viable options for their internet service.

    • at the 2 minute mark of using iChat for a video conference, my bandwidth from Comcast in Houston gets throttled to less than dial-up speeds, effectively making iChat useless.

      After dealing with that for a few months I finally tracked down a preference in iChat to limit bandwidth useage, and if I set it to 100 kbps the throttling doesn't occur, but then 4-way video calls don't work well.

      Comcast is the only broadband choice where I live. I have Verizon for my phone service, but they don't offer DSL or FiOS in

  • If Comcast advertises 6Mbps I expect 6Mbps or an equal share of the remaining available bandwidth I can receive at any moment.

    They have the pipe and customers are bidding on that share of pipe. Inevitably that pipe is going to get clogged just like our California freeways during rush hour. If I'm paying $60 a month I expect my own freaking lane.

    I believe communication companies need incentive to upgrade their bandwidth. If they want people to pay for more bandwidth they should have to expand their network i

    • by laird (2705)

      "If I'm paying $60 a month I expect my own freaking lane."

      You shouldn't have this expectation, because that's not what you're paying for. If you want a committed 1.5 Mbps (a T1) that costs (for example) $360/month. This gives you guaranteed 1.5 Mbps with a 99.99% SLA. That bandwidth is reserved for your exclusive use, and you can pump data through it 24/7.

      What you're paying $30/month for is cheap, shared bandwidth with no guarantees. The reason that it costs so much less is that your ISP isn't reserving cap

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday June 20, 2008 @07:50PM (#23880831)
    The fraud of the cable companies -- and I'm talking about you, Comcast -- is that you say these people are clogging up our cables so that no one else can use them as we've promised everyone can. Yet money completely solves this problem. Pay for a more expensive business account and suddenly, with no other changes at all to your local cable loop, you get higher bandwidth and caps and somehow are no longer killing their system.

    Tell me Comcast: Just how did your cable suddenly get better once you start charging me 2X to 5X as much as before?

    They're just a bunch of fsking liars!

    • Well, they obviously hire an Adeptus Mechanicus to bless the cables and appease the machine god, duh.

      And if you think that's silly, offer a better explanation.

    • by Wildclaw (15718)

      Of course it doesn't get better. The problem they are having isn't with expensive bandwidth, because face it bandwidth isn't that expensive compared to what they are charging for it.

      What they are having trouble with is clogged up last mile bandwidth because of an aging infrastructure where people share the last mile. As they can only support so much usage on each shared part, and the average usage by ordinary average users is rising, their only option is to either create a real last mile network (yeah right

  • If my ISP promises me 4mbps download and unlimited traffic that should mean that I can download up to about 1TB per month (450KB/s 24hours a day for 30 days). If they want to limit me to, say, 100GB/month then this amount should be indicated somewhere in the agreement and should not be advertised as "unlimited".

    If the network is congested I expect an equal share of the available bandwidth. Actually, I should get a share of the available bandwidth that is proportionate to my max bandwidth. For example, in
    • by smoker2 (750216)

      If the network is congested I expect an equal share of the available bandwidth. Actually, I should get a share of the available bandwidth that is proportionate to my max bandwidth. For example, in a congested network I should get four times as much bandwidth as the person paying for 1mbps connection.

      That's fine inside your ISPs network, what about the rest of the internet. How do you prioritise traffic between ISPs. Sounds like the opposite of net neutrality.
      People seem to forget that when the network is congested, they are part of the problem. You don't complain to Ford if your 150 mph car gets stuck on the freeway in a jam.

  • "While speakers rejected that Comcast method, some said it was time to follow the lead of Comcast and begin implementing caps for individual users who are consuming disproportionately high amounts of bandwidth."

    -GOD FUCKING FORBID we use the bandwidth we purchased.

  • If I'm serving up ad-supported content I don't want my content cached unless I can count the viewers so I can bill my advertisers.

    If I'm serving up restricted-access content I definitely don't want it cached unless it can be done in a secure way.

    If I'm serving up content subject to change I don't want it cached unless I can guarentee some level of up-to-dateness.

    Having said that...

    It's in the interest of "big content" to cooperate with "big pipe" to improve the customer experience. Happy customers are more

  • The first line of this article could easily be reworded "alphadogg points us to a NetworkWorld story about the search by ISPs for new ways to stop rendering the service for which their customers pay."

  • caching so called "legal p2p content" regionally is supposed to alleviate the web traffic crunch?

    How about not throttling my HTTP streams you douchebag comcast?

    I'm downloading my revision3 shows and some porn at the same time and all of a sudden, I can't load google?

    try caching web content regionally. Oh wait, that's a stupid idea also.

    their plan here is to say, ok you can legally download all of this content from local p2p servers. Anyone not using our servers is downloading illegally.
    At that point, it's

  • by dj42 (765300) on Friday June 20, 2008 @11:28PM (#23882033) Journal
    I recommend they add a valve to everyone's internet pipe. If they become troublesome, you simply close their valve down a little bit to stop the flow of the internet through the pipes.
    • I recommend that they add a trap to the plumbing, too, so that the odor of Internet sewage doesn't come back up the pipe to annoy other users. ;-)
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @12:56AM (#23882423)


    1) Set a price ($1 a gig, minimum $50 a month).
    2) Allow competition from providers in your area.
    3) Observe the speed/bandwidth increase since it is being paid for.
    4) Then observe the price drop as competition brings it down.

    Without competition, you can't have this and will exceed your bandwidth eventually.

  • It isn't about bandwidth. The ISPs have no equivalent problem with movies and other large content from Amazon, iTunes, Netflix and TV over internet. These usages are way huger than P2P traffic. But those bandwidth users are sanctioned and about control of what you see, how you see and under what conditions.

    It isn't about efficiency. P2P technologies for downloads properly done are much more efficient.

    It isn't about pirating. If it was they wouldn't be threatening an entire type of internet technology.

  • If, as seems likely, the ISPs, supported by governments and organitions like the RIAA, strangle the net as we known it - what can we do?

    I have a mesh router, and so do a couple of my neighbours. We have them on our roofs. We share our iTunes libraries and other stuff over them. They're fast - very fast. Of course, we're reliant on our ISPs for email and WAN access, but if *enough* people did what we were doing, what could happen? A cultural shift would certainly be needed, but if we could re-create the free

  • It's time that everyone who is about to get into a contract with an ISP tells them directly upfront: I am going to be a heavy P2P user. You will take this into account right now and will either turn me down as a customer or offer to me some form of service that will support my activity and I want it in writing in my contract that I can actually USE all of my bandwidth and capacity and you will NOT interfere with my usage. I want it in my contract signed by you.

    That is what should be done, either they will

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