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AT&T Could Cut Off P2P Users 397

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the take-their-ball-and-go-home dept.
malign noted that AT&T has stated that using P2P on their 3G wireless network is grounds for disconnection. The lobbyist told congress "Use of a P2P file sharing application would constitute a material breach of contract for which the user's service could be terminated."
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AT&T Could Cut Off P2P Users

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  • Nice... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by courteaudotbiz (1191083) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:00AM (#24415881) Homepage
    It could widely open the door for such clauses in regular ISPs contracts...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It could widely open the door for such clauses in regular ISPs contracts...

      This is nothing new. It's just usually not enforced.

      For instance, Rogers's (Canadian ISP) TOS/EUA forbids a normal thing like hosting a website at pain of connection termination:

      [4,k: not] operate a server in connection with the Services including but not limited to mail, news, file, gopher, telnet, chat, web, or host configuration servers, multimedia streamers, or multi-user interactive forums;

      Rogers EUA [yahoo.com]

      Violation is sufficient for them to cut your internet connection. Of course, they prevent people from doing this accidentally by fidiling with ICMP. In combination with their DNS poisoning, excuse me, helpful assistance... Rogers is becoming a really bad ISP.

      • Re:Nice... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Stellian (673475) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @11:35AM (#24417639)

        This is nothing new. It's just usually not enforced.

        Even if it's enforced, I don't think RIAA should rub their collective hands just yet.
        The old model says, do what you want with Internet connection, but if we find you breaking the law, we'll put you in jail, make you pay trough the nose etc. etc. This a significant deterrent for people thinking to use P2P illegally.
        What they are proposing here is: do what you want make sure you are not caught; if we do catch you, we will give you a slap on the wrist.
        This will just drive people to use more and more stealth P2P applications, share knowledge about what works and what not, switch from torrents to things la freenet etc.
        A three-strikes and your out policy still allows three tries, and that's plenty of room for experimenting, only the most obtuse users will keep using the same p2p application to eventually be cut off. The users will always move faster than the corporate ISPs ability to implement piracy detectors.

        This is a desperate move, and privacy issues aside, a good development for driving work on the anonymizing P2P services.

      • Re:Nice... (Score:4, Funny)

        by sglewis100 (916818) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @01:57PM (#24420435)

        [4,k: not] operate a server in connection with the Services including but not limited to mail, news, file, gopher, telnet, chat, web, or host configuration servers, multimedia streamers, or multi-user interactive forums;

        That's why I won't move to Canada. If I can't run my gopher server - well, what's the point of living??

    • Re:Nice... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wild_quinine (998562) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:26AM (#24416373) Homepage

      It could widely open the door for such clauses in regular ISPs contracts...

      Two points:

      1) This is actually a very different thing to a regular ISP contract, and is not related to copyright law. They're banning P2P because their network cannot handle P2P. That may be their own damn fault, but it's not an argument about users rights so much as an argument about their network infrastructure and QoS management.

      2) Blanket banning P2P simply would not work at this stage for regular ISPs. Honestly, it's too late for that. It's already embedded in what consumers do, and you can't just turn it off any more. There are already too many legitimate consumer-oriented applications that make use of P2P; including that $100 million a month cash-cow, world of warcraft. (Sure, you can http if you have bad/no p2p access, but it would be a real degradation of patch-download time if you tried.)

      Also streaming TV (see Joost, BBC iPlayer, etc) is starting to make use of it.

      • Re:Nice... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tambo (310170) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:55AM (#24416907)
        • Buy subsidized iPhone tied to lengthy, pricey AT&T service contract
        • Activate iPhone and run P2P application, causing AT&T to cut off service and cancel contract
        • Sell iPhone on eBay for PROFIT!

        AT&T has discovered Step 2 for us! Awesome work, AT&T scientician people! We can bail ourselves out of the recession this way!

        - David Stein

        • Re:Nice... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Zenaku (821866) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @11:04AM (#24417059)

          Just because they are the ones canceling the contract doesn't mean they won't charge you the "early termination" fee.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Khyber (864651)

            Actually, if THEY cancel the contract, they are ultimately responsible for absorbing all costs related. Termination fees only apply if you, the customer, cancel the contract.

            It actually comes in quite handy to know that, as it allows you a nice opportunity to force your hand and get out of a contract without termination fees. piss off Customer Service enough and they terminate your plan for you citing "We are unable to meet your requirements of service, go elsewhere." and you get no termination fee.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jellomizer (103300)

          However by running the P2P app you are the one who broke the terms of the contract, thus having to pay early termination fee.

  • by adpsimpson (956630) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:01AM (#24415905)

    While this may be oppressive, at least users now know where they stand.This has to be better than an invisible, 'if we think you're using too much we may slow you down, and then lie about it repeatedly' policy.

    Not to say that both are mutually exclusive, of course.

    • by Tabernaque86 (1046808) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:12AM (#24416093)

      While this may be oppressive, at least users now know where they stand.This has to be better than an invisible, 'if we think you're using too much we may slow you down, and then lie about it repeatedly' policy.

      Similarly, it's better that they're reminding customers of this and giving them a heads up. If it's in their contract, couldn't AT&T automatically pull the plug on their service and say later "You breached the contract...you *did* read the contract, didn't you?"?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BigGar' (411008)

      Except that the internet is a big p2p file sharing environment. That's all it is. Saying that you don't want people to use p2p file sharing in the internet is like saying you done want people to use the internet.

      And yes I do think they understand this and are using the excuse to put this sort of clause in because most people don't. In the future they can simply arbitrarily disconnect users who aren't using the system the way they're supposed to because of p2p app. use.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:56AM (#24416933) Journal
        I know the US has very weak consumer protection laws, but surely something like this is grounds for a lawsuit - if they are advertising Internet access and only providing web-and-email access then this sounds like misleading and possibly fraudulent advertising.
  • by slk (2510) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:01AM (#24415917)

    3G wireless data networking is a service with very limited total bandwidth. It has a premium price, and is primarily targeted at business users. Given the basic physical limits involved with the radio spectrum in question, you really have to either do this or have specific bandwidth quotas to effectively manage a network.

    Having said that, I prefer Verizon's solution of clearly stated 5GB quota with overage at a known and stated cost. I don't use their service as a primary internet connection, but it's invaluable for the ability to connect from *anywhere*. This is particularly useful as I run my own consulting company, and need to be able to have access no matter what.

    (Ultimate lightweight setup: Xseries Thinkpad plus Verizon EVDO modem)

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:12AM (#24416101)
      Then the answer is don't say unlimited for example, rather then AT&T saying unlimited data, they should clearly state in ads, but no P2P.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CharlieHedlin (102121)

        AT&T doesn't say unlimited on the laptop plans, they state 5GB.

        p2p is a beast on a bandwidth limited network. It doesn't back off properly when there is congestion, and just hammers until things start to break.

        3G wireless connections are NOT the place for p2p. As such we shouldn't be counting them when we count broadband availability. I have a Cable modem at home and work, and a T1 at work. Plenty of places to do p2p without clogging the 3G network.

    • by langelgjm (860756) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:13AM (#24416119) Journal

      Before the discussion wanders off topic, it's important to note that this is not about copyright violation, something that's not mentioned anywhere in the letter. But, to quote from the letter:

      Todayâ(TM)s P2P file sharing applications are inappropriate for AT&Tâ(TM)s mobile wireless broadband network, which is optimized to efficiently support high data rates for multiple users that send and receive intermittent or âoeburstyâ traffic generated by activities such as browsing the Internet and sending email. Because P2P file sharing applications typically engage in continuous (rather than bursty) transmissions at high data rates, a small number of users of P2P file sharing applications served by a particular cell site could severely degrade the service quality enjoyed by all customers served by that site.

      So really, the issue isn't even P2P - the issue is "continuous transmissions at high data rates."

      Now, the other day I spent about 2.5 hours on a Skype video call, and a few days before that I downloaded an ISO over HTTP (Mythbuntu). Will activities like those eventually be labeled a breach of service, because of their nature as "continuous transmissions at high data rates"? What about visiting Hulu? I think those are all pretty legitimate questions.

      • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:22AM (#24416285) Homepage
        My Sprint wireless service already says that things like streaming VOIP (or even streaming Internet radio) are against the terms of service. Apparently it's for "web browsing and email" internets only.

        That and the "unlimited service" means "we'll kick you off if you use over 5 gigs".

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ahecht (567934)
          I doubt Sprint doesnt' allow streamin internet radio. On my Sprint Centro, which has a Sprint Firmware, a program is included that not only plays internet radio, but has a huge list of radio stations built in. AT&T specificaly disabled the internet-radio functionality of the included software, so it's clearly doable, but Sprint chose not to.
      • Now, the other day I spent about 2.5 hours on a Skype video call, and a few days before that I downloaded an ISO over HTTP (Mythbuntu). Will activities like those eventually be labeled a breach of service, because of their nature as "continuous transmissions at high data rates"? What about visiting Hulu? I think those are all pretty legitimate questions.

        And you were doing this from a cell phone, or a cell-tethered computer?
        • by langelgjm (860756)

          And you were doing this from a cell phone, or a cell-tethered computer?

          No, I wasn't. In fact, I wouldn't think of purchasing one of those plans unless I were sure I could use it for whatever I wanted, and unless the price came down a bit. But why is it unreasonable to think that someone on a cell-tethered computer might want to use Skype Video or visit Hulu? One of my relatives travels frequently, and his cell-tethered computer is his only form of Internet access when he's not at home, which can often be for weeks at a time.

          • by mea37 (1201159) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:35AM (#24416533)

            It's not unreasonable to think they'd want to. But that doesn't matter.

            It is unreasonable to expect to be allowed to. Why? Because of the impact on the other users. Because it isn't what the network is designed to support.

            Just because it's reasonable to want soemthing, doesn't mean anyone can or should provide it.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:17AM (#24416185) Journal

      3G wireless data networking is a service with very limited total bandwidth. It has a premium price, and is primarily targeted at business users.

      We're talking about AT&T.
      You know, the people with the exclusive deal on the iPhone...
      You're trying to tell me that those millions of iPhone subscribers are business users?

      Maybe "3G wireless data networking" was "primarily targeted at business users" by AT&T, but they got the iPhone and with it comes the non-business masses. Not to mention that 3G is not "primarily targeted at business users" anywhere else in the world.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MobyDisk (75490)

        Ironically, the entire point of a phone is to stream continuous audio data. It's weird that they would forbid that data from being sent over IP, but it is okay to send it over whatever protocol is used for voice communications.

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:01AM (#24415923)

    Why must they sell this "unlimited" crap that is actually very limited? Give me data and a rate schedule, just like with voice minutes. Let me specify a cap so that some errant process doesn't wipe me out financially.

  • by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:01AM (#24415925)
    Before the hordes of angry /.'ers start cursing AT&T into oblivion, let me start by saying it's their network and they can impose whatever rules they feel like. Nobody is forcing you to sign up; there are options.
    • by ari_j (90255) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:06AM (#24416001)
      There's a difference between imposing rules and reinterpreting a contract that you've already entered into. If there is a contract term that actually does cover lawful P2P usage, that's imposing a rule. If there is a contract term that prohibits using their network to infringe anyone's copyright and they claim that lawful P2P usage falls within that prohibition, that's different.
      • AT&T's terms of service (as well as the TOS for most other carriers) bars the use of P2P applications on the wireless platform.

        Apparently to conserve limited bandwidth.

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:10AM (#24416049) Homepage Journal

      Not exactly.
      Part or the problem is that they will use the term Unlimited. Then they will put on limitations. To me that instantly invalidates all their contracts.
      Next they are operating as a "Common Carrier" that gives them all sorts of legal protections. This could cause them to loose their Common Carrier protections.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by b96miata (620163)

        1. It's lose.

        2. All the old common carrier rules went out the window with the internet. Not by law or anything, but just look at all the poking around in your data ISP's do nowadays. If they haven't lost CC protection for it yet, I doubt they ever will.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by amnezick (1253408) *
      yes but if you're already "in" can you get out now that they've changed "the rules of the game"?
    • by wizardforce (1005805) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:12AM (#24416099) Journal
      the fact both comcast and AT&T are doing this and not getting punished by the market as it is says pretty clearly that one of two things are true: 1) there is little if any competition and/or 2) people really don't care enough to switch sadly both are probably true to some extent.. which explains a lot of why the US is near the bottom of industrialized nations in terms of the capabilities of our broadband/wireless networks...
      • You do realize... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wiredog (43288) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:20AM (#24416243) Journal

        That Comcast is a ground based cable carrier, and hid it's interference, and AT&T is a wireless carrier whose TOS openly states that use of P2P applications on their wireless platform is grounds for termination of the contract? Slight differences there...

           

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        You left off 3) in the heavily regulated telecom industry, the federal government at best doesn't care, and at worst is supportive of this sort of thing.

        Your first point is really the key one for most folks. There is no meaningful competition in telecoms.

      • by b96miata (620163)

        I think it's the reverse - since we're near the bottom, people are left with the case where the only competitive broandband ISP in their area is comcast.

        They get to choose between comcast and their shenanigans at nominal speeds of 6-10mbps, or DSL and it typical lack at somewhere around 1/5 the speed. It'd be one thing if there were two otherwise identical broadband choices, and one did the "reasonable network management" game, and people didn't switch, but as things are it's very apples to oranges.

      • It's not a matter of not caring, it's a matter of lack of choice.

        In my neighborhood the choices for internet access are Comcast or Dialup. Verizon provides phone service for my neighboord(Houston metro area) but they don't offer FiOS, let alone DSL.

        I'd love to switch off Comcast as until recently they'd been throttling my connection to less than dial-up speeds after exactly 2 minutes of a video conference via iChat. No P2P was involved, just iChat. I use iChat to keep in touch with my parents,my dad's jo

    • by neokushan (932374) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:12AM (#24416109)

      If only real life was that cut and dry.
      It's not always a case of "Don't like it? Don't sign up".
      What if you were unfortunate enough to live in an area where AT&T were the ONLY operators?
      What if you have an iPhone?
      What if you've already signed up to their UNLIMITED package and just started a 12-month contract only to find it's not quite so Unlimited?

    • BullSHIT (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hellfire (86129) <deviladv&gmail,com> on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:12AM (#24416111) Homepage

      No, they should not be able to say that. Because if they say that, every ISP can and will say that, then they start preventing you from downloading competitor's material, then they start censoring, and then the internet begins a slow death spiral in the US.

      ISPs should be covered under common carrier laws. That means they are not responsible for the content of the information they transmit, but that they can also not give preferential treatment to a specific type of information or deprecate another type of information. They key here is the content of information. Downloading one 5 MB file should not be any different than downloading another 5 MB file, no matter what's within the file or what program you use to download it.

      Content providers are putting more and more pressure on ISPs because they can. The ISPs in turn put pressure on the consumer and start setting standards which they should not be setting. Content providers should not have this much control!

    • Ha-ha, I use Sprint. Never got kicked off of EVDO for downloading some fan-subbed Anime :P (though they do have their own issues, don't get me wrong).

      Seriously, though. Why do people still use AT&T? Aside from iPhone fever or living in a remote area where AT&T is the only game in town it sounds like there really aren't any compelling reasons to sign up with them.

    • Why do people keep modding this kind of crap as insightful? It really isn't:

      let me start by saying it's their network and they can impose whatever rules they feel like

      Yeah, it's their network, and they sold unlimited access to it. Now, they want to act as if they did not since they're losing money. That kind of behaviour is usually illegal.

      Nobody is forcing you to sign up; there are options

      Nobody forced them to take money for "unlimited" access. There were other options for them. But they took the money. N

    • by Lord Apathy (584315) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @11:16AM (#24417271)

      Screw that. It maybe their network but I have issues with them plastering signs up saying unlimited internet 60 bucks a month. Then sneaking in some shit in the contract written in flyspeck 3.

      My story. I almost signed up for this 3G bullshit from AT&T. I asked the sales monkey what unlimited meant. He said it meant I could do anything with no limits, just what it said. I played 20 questions. I ask him could I watch unlimited video over it. He said yes, no limit. I ask him about running VPN on it 24/7. Same answer. I stated that I sometimes use bittorrent to download openSuse DVD iso, 4.5 GB. He nodded and said no problem.

      So the fucker lied didn't he? He said to me point blank I could use p2p over the network but the contract woudl state I can't? This is the BS I have issues with. In the end I didn't get the service. Something about the way the sales monkey smiled.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Deanalator (806515)

      It's OUR network, primarily build with OUR tax dollars on the condition that they play nice.

    • by KeithIrwin (243301) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @11:56AM (#24418077)

      Well, it's their network, but it's using radio frequencies which are leased from the public. They're part of a small group of carriers which have exclusive rights to certain blocks of frequencies. The limitations of the available bandwidth stop this from being a freely competitive market. As such, it is reasonable to discuss whether or not their policies are appropriate. If we collectively feel that their policies are inappropriate, then we should change the terms of the spectrum lease when it comes up for renewal to limit what they are allowed to do or require them to do certain things.

      Essentially, they're our tenants and if they aren't using our property in a way we find acceptable, we should change the lease. Now, while the current lease is in effect, it's their decision how to use the bandwidth within the bounds of the current lease. But it's perfectly reasonable for us to discuss whether or not we like what they're doing. Bandwidth leases are not given out blindly. They frequently have conditions attached to them which are meant to promote the general good. There's certainly nothing wrong with discussing a requirement that bandwidth used to provide internet service be free from user policies which restrict which applications can be used on that service.

  • Not Unreasonable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:03AM (#24415957)
    Over their cell network, I don't think this is an unreasonable stance for them to take. Sure, it may be annoying for the .05% of users (or whatever miniscule percentage of people) who are affected by this, but this isn't about internet access for the home computer - it's about wireless internet access for a cell network. Sure, when our cell phones are much more advanced and p2p applications make sense I'll think they need to rethink their stance, but for now, it's pretty reasonable. imho.
    • Sure, when our cell phones are much more advanced and p2p applications make sense I'll think they need to rethink their stance, but for now, it's pretty reasonable.

      This is exactly what I was thinking, but will they really rethink their stance? Somehow I doubt it.

  • Cellular Interwebs (Score:2, Informative)

    by QuantumPion (805098)

    I recently bought an EEE PC and enrolled in my cell carrier's data plan to allow tethering. It's great, I love being able to connect to the net relatively securely from anywhere. And it makes a great backup in case my home cable modem goes out. The problem is, I only use it occasionally, and most carriers have outrageous plans.

    For someone who is interested in cellular internet in the US, what are your choices?

    Verizon: $60/mo on top of voice plan, 5 GB/mo limit, service explicitly limited to "internet browsi

    • by ptbarnett (159784) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:10AM (#24416063)
      Sprint has a $60/month unlimited plan, with no dependency on a voice plan. I'm using it now.
    • ATT's data access isn't as widespread as Verizon's, but they're building it out at a furious pace, and both their network and Verizon's are FAR larger than Sprint's. Here, 10 miles out of the city in any direction and your Sprint voice connection, not to mention data, is barely alive. And forget it if you're indoors anywhere.

      I recommend ATT or Verizon, both equally, and no one else.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Shakrai (717556) *

        I recommend ATT or Verizon, both equally, and no one else.

        I disagree. If you live in a major city both T-Mobile and Sprint are valid options. Both of them are focused on covering the areas where 90% of the population spends 90% of it's time. If you live in a decent sized city and rarely venture out into the countryside then why the hell should you pay half again as much (or more) for service with Verizon or AT&T?

    • Try PDANet if you have a WM or PalmOS device such as a Treo:

      http:\\www.junefabrics.com

      It violates the TOS, but everyone I know that uses it has had no problems; but they use it mostly for light web surfing and VPN/Outlook email, no P2P or streaming video.

    • If you think *those* plans are bad, then consider the case here in Greece, where a while ago (and probably now) there were plans which were 5MB (yes I did say that) and 50MB per month with effectively 1 euro per MB over that. One week after I warned a friend of mine about "reading the small print" he got slapped with a 500 euro bill. Cellular internet is a real no-no unless you're just checking your email - consider the traffic watching a few youtube videos per day...

      The FSM only knows how big the bill wou

    • by FooAtWFU (699187)

      Sprint: $50/mo on top of voice plan. Apparently no bandwidth or usage limits.

      My Sprint terms of service (for a laptop cellular connection) say, roughly, "Web browsing and email only, definitely no streaming VOIP; if you use over 5 gigs we'll assume you're breaking the rules and kick you off."

  • by PMuse (320639) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:05AM (#24415989)

    As long as they're clear about what they are and aren't selling for $XX.99 per month, they're free to not sell whatever they don't want to sell.

    (The mistake that the ISPs made was in claiming to sell YYY Mbits/s 'unlimited' and then not actually providing that.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Bios_Hakr (68586)

      This sounds like an excellent way to get out of an ATT contract without early cancellation fees.

      Buy an iPhone for $300; get ATT contract. Tether the iPhone to your laptop and install a fresh copy of WoW.

      They drop you and you don't have to pay for the rest of the contract.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mapsjanhere (1130359)
        I'm pretty sure that if they terminate you "for cause", that somewhere, in sub paragraph 31 c clause III on page 49 of the contract, it states that they are allowed to get their early termination fees. Or worse, that you still owe them the rest of the contract without them providing you with anything.
  • This is news? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Genocaust (1031046)
    Who would want to try and P2P anything over 3G, anyhow? I regularly end up using my cell as a tethered modem for EDGE when I have no other service available, and even if I had 3G, I don't see any situation where I'd be forced to rely on my cell for internet that I would just absolutely have to get on some P2P network. I'd rather just surf and check email with a connection less than DSL/Cable.
    • Re:This is news? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @11:44AM (#24417831) Homepage Journal

      Who would want to try and P2P anything over 3G, anyhow?

      Today? I don't know. Today P2P is mainly used just for the sharing of large data files.

      It's pretty to imagine future applications where it really makes a lot of sense, though. Imagine this: your jabber server says that someone wants to initiate a VoIP phone call. The caller's request is PGP-signed, so you don't just immediately reject it out-of-hand as obviously a spammer. You immediately download their public key from a keyserver using a non-p2p protocol, but now you need to do a reputation lookup, to find out if anyone on your reputation WoT asserts that this identity is not a spammer. Your phone, talking through giFT layer, sends a request out to a variety of p2p networks, asking for reputation attestations concerning keyid 98379234. You get an answer from someone, where 43523453 (who happens to be someone with an already-positive reputation in your local cache) attests that 98379234 is not a spammer, so your phone goes ahead and beeps and displays "incoming call." The file transferred is really pretty small and not incompatible with the idea of bandwidth-limited networks.

      p2p's potential applications are vast. We're just in the very early days, is all, so we don't always see every way it could be used.

  • So are people buying internet access or the ability to shop only at approved media interface sites.

    We need to take back the NET before we lose any more of it.

  • by 4D6963 (933028)

    FTFA : "Because P2P file sharing applications typically engage in continuous (rather than bursty) transmissions at high data rates, a small number of users of P2P file sharing applications served by a particular cell site could severely degrade the service quality enjoyed by all customers served by that site."

    Hey AT&T, it's called QoS, look it up!

    And if their problem is with "continuous" transmissions, let's just make a new P2P protocol that instead uses lots of "bursty" transmissions to lots of differe

  • No Safe Harbor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scubamage (727538) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:15AM (#24416163)
    By selectively banning accounts for certain types of traffic, AT&T has effectively disqualified themselves from the safe harbor provisions. All that someone needs to do is download some pics of kiddy diddling and AT&T could be sued to oblivion for providing child pornography. Safe harbor ONLY applies when the ISP doesn't bias network traffic.
  • 3G People (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:18AM (#24416209)
    Wow, I just read through the comments at a threshold of 0, and it's clear that a whole lot of you can't seem to understand that WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A 3G DATA NETWORK. So all you people talking about downloading large files using BitTorrent or playing WOW, how many of you do that from YOUR FUCKING CELL PHONE?!?!?
    • by Idbar (1034346)
      I haven't read those comments yet. But I'm pretty sure ATT sells cards and services for computers too, I think those people may do it.
  • by burris (122191) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:21AM (#24416275)

    1. Profanity on AT&T's network will be fined at $0.99 per incident

    2. Failure to return mother-in-law's call will temporarily disable all other outgoing calls.

    3. Calling ex-girlfriend after 10 pm will be charged at time-and-a-half.

    4. Using map feature to locate a Verizon retail store will cause your handset to be remotely bricked.

    5. Calling AT&T customer service will result in temporary data throughput reduction.

    6. Calling three friends in a row within a three minute period will result in suspension of outgoing call privileges.

    • by oahazmatt (868057)

      3. Calling ex-girlfriend after 10 pm will be charged at time-and-a-half.

      That might be a great deterrent, actually.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Graff (532189)

      Profanity on AT&T's network will be fined at $0.99 per incident

      You are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute.

  • by Bobzibub (20561) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:26AM (#24416377)

    Ever since getting my "3g" iphone, I've never seen a good 3g signal. Hope you like all that cash I send you AT&T.

  • by alextheseal (653421) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:32AM (#24416489)
    Super, this is an easy way out of any ATT contract. Fire up a P2P client and you are out of your contract with no termination fees. Cool.
  • by davonshire (94424) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:45AM (#24416701)

    AT&T can certainly change their contract as they deem apropriate. I'm pretty certain that's become a common practice. But A lot of you decriers of 'FOUL' are kind of missing the point.

    The whole "Legitimate" reason for using P2P / BitTorrent whatever is to try and ensure that there will be more bandwidth for a desired file than will be availible by any one provider.

    That is to say, now adays files are so large and there is so much demand that unless you have oodles and oodles of upstream bandwidth, someone is going to get denied access because of too many users. (any of you who may remember ftp archives like WU) or downloads that are much slower than that 8Gb fiberline you just had run the last mile to your house.

    It's the same philosophy that you all bitched about when you'd say MS Windows expands to fill all resources. Just because you can use P2P doesn't mean you should. A lot of you are savvy enough to know how to limit the number of upstream clients you can provide for. But in general uncontrolled P2P will consume as much of your upstream as it can while your downloading your Pr0n.

    Anyone who plays WoW will know their P2P is vicious, and this is from a company with the most popular MMORPG in the world, Billions of dollars a month from user fees and such and they have to use your network to help spread their updates?

    So cry if you get thumped by the 'Corporate Giant' trying to keep the hard working hacker down. It's not about unlimited data, it's about people using tools that crush everyone elses fun using that service.

    Think about it, you paid to move data for yourself up and down that line, P2P makes you a data dealer for 2 - 100's more all on that one line you are paying for.

    Probably blew my Karm but oh Well.

    DS

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BCGlorfindel (256775)


      So cry if you get thumped by the 'Corporate Giant' trying to keep the hard working hacker down. It's not about unlimited data, it's about people using tools that crush everyone elses fun using that service.

      I can't believe a quote like "Tools that crush everyone else's fun", not only appears on slashdot, but gets modded up as well. The last part of parent is correct, you paid to move data for yourself. If you paid for unlimited use of a 10Mbps line, then your activity on that line had damn well better not be

  • by MarkKnopfler (472229) on Thursday July 31, 2008 @10:59AM (#24416977)

    It is for the 3G wireless networks. The capacity of a network is calculated on a probabilistic model where a bunch of users communicate in intermittent quanta of downloads and uploads. So the bandwidth is provisioned, ( especially in a wireless network ) in such a way that you have the promised amount of bandwidth in spike. There is only that much you can put in a single wireless burst. A P2P application in sharp contradistinction, will generate a stream of steady and large volume of traffic in both directions, for as long as it is running. This will lock up a bunch of slots on a burst, starving other user terminals in the vicinity. The problem with torrents I think is not the amount of data transferred, but the pattern in which it is used. The attempt I think is to provide an uniform user experience for all.
    It is understandable from a provisioning point of view, but let us see how it works out in the market.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley

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