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Comcast Appeals FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling 242

Posted by timothy
from the makes-one-long-for-tin-cans-and-string dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Comcast has filed a court appeal of an FCC ruling that says the company can't delay peer-to-peer traffic on its network because it violates FCC net neutrality principles. A Comcast VP said the FCC ruling is 'legally inappropriate,' but said it will abide by the order during the appeal while moving forward with its plan to cap data transfers at 250 GB per month."
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Comcast Appeals FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling

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  • D'oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skye16 (685048) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:13PM (#24880849)

    Watch them win and maintain the 250gb cap.

    Comcast subscribers = butt pwnt.

    • Re:D'oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradis@NoSpAm.palegray.net> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:42PM (#24881179) Homepage Journal
      I have no problem with the 250 GB cap. I'd much prefer ISPs clearly state their actual usage limits, as opposed to the current widespread practice of selling "unlimited" bandwidth plans that are anything but unlimited.

      If consumers dislike a particular ISPs plan, they can voice their opinions and vote with their wallets. Yes, I understand this comment is probably going to generate dozens of "but I can't get another ISP!" replies, and I preemptively dispute the validity of most of them. I'm living on a Naval installation, and I could drop my current cable provider for a number of DSL providers. Would I have the the same download speeds? Probably not, but the option is still there.

      We make tradeoffs when buying services from various vendors. With respect to ISPs, some offer higher speeds but have crappy terms of service. Other providers offer "business" level accounts that don't have any caps aside from throughput, and offer static IPs and unblocked ports. You get what you pay for, and the market as a whole decides what's worth offering.
      • when the market is actually free, of course if you read the entry in my sig the market is seldom if ever free.

        The ISP market is on the opposite end of the spectrum from free.

        • Re:D'oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jlarocco (851450) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:52PM (#24882449) Homepage

          Oh wow. That's ironic. An anti-capitalism whiner complaining about the ISP market.

          Just to clarify, the ISP market sucks because local governments sell exclusive franchises and forbid competition. The problem is precisely the lack of competition, free markets and capitalism that you rail against in the linked to journal entry. If anybody is screwing the consumers in this case, it's the government, not the ISPs.

          Spinning it as a failure of capitalism is either ignorant or just plain malicious. It's a perfect example of why too much government regulation is a bad thing.

          • Nope (Score:3, Interesting)

            by bussdriver (620565)

            It is a BAD example of government OVER regulation! In most cases, its a LACK of stronger regulation that is the problem! Many cities would love 2 cable companies and probably give them incentives!

            Public resources are owned by government which has a "monopoly" on them. The error I often see is that some think government is a form of corporation; it can not have any monopoly because it represents all citizens (government corruption is off topic; its OUR fault if we become corporatist, etc.)

            In my area the loca

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by jlarocco (851450)

              In most cases, its a LACK of stronger regulation that is the problem! Many cities would love 2 cable companies and probably give them incentives!

              Really? Like this [bizjournals.com] case, where Verizon wanted to provide FiOS, but the city wouldn't let them? What an incentive!!

              I don't think you understand the concept of an ISP franchise. In a nutshell, it's when a city says "Company X is giving us $XX million, in exchange for being the sole ISP in the city, provided they sell at least Y mbit/s with at least a certain le

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Ironchew (1069966)

            Spinning it as a failure of capitalism is either ignorant or just plain malicious. It's a perfect example of why too much government regulation is a bad thing.

            Spinning it as a "tyrannical government oppressing the innocent, scientific free market!" is either ignorant or just plain malicious. Just as a large corporation systematically concentrates wealth, it will also use the powers that be (the government, usually) to maintain its firmly anti-competitive market. The government does things like this because corporate lobbyists draft bills and get them passed.

      • Re:D'oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:56PM (#24881335)

        I'm living on a Naval installation, and I could drop my current cable provider for a number of DSL providers.

        We all know how bad internet connectivity is on/around Naval institutions.

        Leaving that aside, your dismissal of others' claims because they don't happen to apply to you and thus everyone is the height of egocentric thinking.

        • I didn't claim Internet connectivity was bad around Naval installations. I surmise you've never lived on a base; there is a distinct lack of competition for family housing at each facility, with a "preferred provider" pretty much owning the area in many cases.

          I'm also not dismissing claims on an individual basis; I've lived all over the country and am well aware that in some areas options are truly limited. However, that does not describe the vast majority of habitable areas in the U.S. Prove me wrong.
          • by Obfuscant (592200)
            In THIS area, we have cable and one DSL. Qwest. While I COULD drop cable and go DSL, I would be paying money to a company that lied to me in order to get my money the first time I subscribed to DSL, could not install it on the right physical pair, and lied to the state PUC when I filed my complaint about their lies.

            When I called them on their lies, they did not offer to provide the service they had promised, they offered to provide it for three months -- after which I would be paying extra for the service

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Grimbleton (1034446)

            there is a distinct lack of competition for family housing at each facility, with a "preferred provider" pretty much owning the area in many cases.

            So what you're basically saying is you live in an average market. Gotcha.

      • Re:D'oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:59PM (#24881365) Homepage Journal

        In my area I have a number of DSL ISPs..but they ALL go through the same TELCO, so there really isn't much of a market there is they all do what the telco tells them. If the telco puts a cap, that all do.

        Fortunately I also have FIOS as an option. An option I readily use.

        I have lived in communities with only one option.

      • Would I have the the same download speeds? Probably not, but the option is still there.

        Yes, you would, and you would probably get a real higher download speed too. It's just that most people complaining haven't done their research [dslreports.org]. DSL has improved, and keeps on improving. And even now, there are some good alternatives to DSL that don't include cable.

      • Re:D'oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mrsbrisby (60242) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:07PM (#24881453) Homepage

        Our township has a municipality which provides electric, sewer, cable, and (you guessed it!) Internet.

        In order to "vote" against this municipality, you also need to go "off grid" because they jack up utilities to help monopolize the local Internet service.

        Additionally, we're still 1954-style copper and so the only fiber loops are from: the municipality. Hauling a DS3 from the next-nearest site would be tens of thousands of dollars for the install (Verizon tenatively quoted us 56K$USD).

        There was a big project called "Network Maryland" where the whole state was supposed to get fiber construction- but they stopped just a mere 25 miles away. We paid taxes, so that the rest of Maryland could get high-speed internet, and the freedom of choice, and we just got screwed out of it.

        No other ISP can compete with them here- so we don't have any others.

        Here: You have to vote with your vote, and that means going door-to-door, and convincing locals to vote for something that frankly, they just don't care very much about.

        Please stop telling people how content you are. You're contributing to the controversy which helps companies like Comcast, and makes things much harder for people actually trying to "vote".

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by spence2680 (667507)
        Parent does not take this far enough!

        Consider this: What's point of a $150/mo 50/5 service if a 250gb bandwidth cap could conceivably be consumed in a little over 48 hours?

        If ISPs are going to cap bandwidth consumption then ISPs should be regulated to review relevent bandwidth caps adjacent to speed considerations.

        Not doing so is akin to selling awesome quality cell phone service without revealing the number of minutes in your monthly plan.

        Ideally, ISPs would be mandated to communicate speed

      • Re:D'oh! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mariushm (1022195) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:23PM (#24881647)

        Would you like to have the electricity cut off at your house when you go over some amount in a month?

        Right now, that limit may very well be enough for you, but what will happen in a year or so?

        Returning to the electricity analogy, the power company sets the limit to a value they determine in let's say September, at a house where two old people live.

        Everything's fine but summer comes and you turn air conditioning on, or maybe you have a kid and the kid starts watching tv 6 hours a day. Or maybe you start working from home instead of working at the office.

        Once you accept limits and restrictions, the only way it's towards more restrictions and limitations.

      • by puppet10 (84610)

        I'll be happy to let Comcast do whatever it wants when they open the cable head end to competitors for internet to allow a relatively free market for ISPs. Until they break their own monopoly they should be regulated like any other utility. Even our electric company which was fully regulated at the state level had to allow competitors to sell electricity over all lines in the state before they were partially deregulated. The natural gas and water utilities are still regulated monopolies and still seem to m

        • by lgw (121541)

          Yeah, that pretty much covers it. If a company has an government-enforced monopoly in some area, it needs to be regulated as a monopoly in that area, to insure it provides adequate service.

      • Re:D'oh! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by erroneus (253617) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:53PM (#24881963) Homepage

        I really hate it when people start off with their typical captialistic ideology when it doesn't apply. In the case of communications, capitalism has never existed. It has always been about a company buying rights to install infrastructure from a local government with which they could exclusively have access to customers without competition. In some cases, deals have been [quietly] made that prevents competing technologies from existing simultaneously which explains why DSL will exist where Cable internet doesn't (while, oddly enough, cable TV exists so you would think that was a no-brainer..?) and vice versa, and of course FiOS doesn't yet reach.

        With the paid-for lack of competition and regulation, they have seen fit to raise prices in areas without competition and lower them where there is competition. They dink with the quality of service instead of reinvesting their [enormous -- read their SEC filings] profits to keep up with the trends and future of the world-wide internet. They lie to customers, which is actually in violation of various consumer laws in fact and in spirit, by using words like "Unlimited" to describe their service and then charge people extra for actually believing them.

        What we have here is anything BUT capitalism. Capitalism can't exist where monopolies are permitted to exist.

      • "We make tradeoffs when buying services from various vendors. With respect to ISPs, some offer higher speeds but have crappy terms of service. "

        The "smaller" ISPs cannot afford to fuck their customers over. Comcast feels they have a secure enough monopoly in the market that they feel safe enough to extort, swindle, cheat and basically do what they want to their customers. It is the "got you by the balls" mentality. Basically, if you want decent service, but maybe willing to settle for a lesser product, you

      • by forand (530402)
        So you are happy that they tell you they are screwing you and admit to have been screwing you before? How is it OK for anyone to be selling a product as "unlimited" then placing limits on it? Seems to me that you are happy because you were previously the victim of fraud and now the fraudster is being up front about the fraud making you happy.
      • Yes, I understand this comment is probably going to generate dozens of "but I can't get another ISP!" replies, and I preemptively dispute the validity of most of them. I'm living on a Naval installation, and I could drop my current cable provider for a number of DSL providers. Would I have the the same download speeds? Probably not, but the option is still there.

        I don't have a landline, you insensitive clod!

  • by corsec67 (627446) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:18PM (#24880887) Homepage Journal

    Slowing or delaying p2p is one thing, but actively forging packets [eff.org], for any reason, should be punished severely.

    Forging reset packets does not equal "throttling", even if it does reduce the load on the network.

    • Agreed. The worst part is that there's no apparent reason to forge packets instead of just slowing them down. If it were just a matter of throttling my usage, that's one thing, but they're going beyond that for whatever reason.
      • by corsec67 (627446)

        They are forging reset packets because it is easy. They detect a p2p connection, and fire off a reset, and then ignore it.

    • by MarcQuadra (129430) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:19PM (#24882179)

      This is what I thought of first, too.

      Comcast has the FCC wrapped around the idea that it's -slowing- P2P traffic, that it's packet-shaping or throttling P2P. I would be totally fine if they just did that, it's their network, and it -should- be prioritizing VoIP, ICMP, interactive services, browsing, and file transfers (in that order) over P2P. What they are doing is -NOT- throttling, QoS, packetshaping, or whatever you want to call it, they are actively mangling the IP protocol to -drop- connections, making P2P actually unusable.

      I'm a Cox customer, and they have a Sandvine appliance that does the same thing. I -cannot use bittorrent-. It's not that bittorrent is slow, or that they put it at a lower priority than my neighbor's porno, they -actually prevent it from working at all-.

      The documents and PR I've seen from Comcast all seem to indicate that they are 'managing' the traffic, not 'mangling' it and the FCC has responded as if they were QoS'ing P2P.

      Either the FCC doesn't understand what's really happening 'on the ground' here, or Comcast itself has a disconnect between Management and Network Management.*

      *I worked somewhere once where there was a seriously overzealous network guy who would throttle services and block things at random. He always said he wasn't when I went to the boss and complained, but when I actually got access to the Packetshaper configs, I could see that he was in fact blocking and throttling services, except on his own machines and the boss'. I've been paranoid ever since.

  • Parsing was hard (Score:2, Informative)

    by againjj (1132651)

    Comcast has filed a court appeal of an FCC ruling that says the company can't delay peer-to-peer traffic on its network because it violates FCC net neutrality principles.

    I read:

    Comcast filed a court appeal of an FCC ruling. The appeal says that the company can't delay peer-to-peer traffic on its network because it violates FCC net neutrality principles.

    I then thought:

    WTF?! They are trying to bolster net neutrality? Did I just see a pig fly by?

  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:25PM (#24880957)

    Hmm hmm It seems you have exceeded your 25 telephone calls per month, sir.

    How can we do that?

    Snort snort. tee hee.

    How can we do that?

    We're the TELEPHONE COMPANY, sir.
    chortle chortle snort snort.

  • There aren't currently any laws on the books mandating or protecting net neutrality, are there? I don't think it's technically illegal to throttle traffic the way they're doing it, though it is ethically wrong.
    I could be wrong here.
    • In 2005 the FCC added vague net neutrality requirements. These are what is enforced. Oftentimes, the law allows the agencies some leeway in creating new regulations to a specific purpose. I for one applaude the FCC for setting up net neutrallity as a principle.

  • by GuyverDH (232921) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:31PM (#24881027)

    Switch from Comcast's cable to Dish Network / DirecTV, or a competing Cable company's product.
    Switch from Comcast's internet to DSL, FIOS or even Satellite or Cellular internet provider.

    Vote with your wallet....

    Once enough subscribers cancel Comcast, maybe they'll finally pull their collective heads out of their collective asses...

    Until then, they will continue to do whatever they want to try and maximize profit and to hell with their customers...

    • by MorderVonAllem (931645) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:43PM (#24881191)
      I'm so sick of this argument. There is no valid alternative where a lot of people live. Where I live we are too far away for DSL. Satellite is *not* an option and FIOS isn't even a gleam in someone's eye. As for TV I don't watch TV anymore so that doesn't affect me.
      • Want != Need (Score:2, Interesting)

        by BitterOldGUy (1330491)

        I'm so sick of this argument. There is no valid alternative where a lot of people live. Where I live we are too far away for DSL. Satellite is *not* an option and FIOS isn't even a gleam in someone's eye. As for TV I don't watch TV anymore so that doesn't affect me.

        I understand that and I'm sure the OP understands that - most folks know about the local monopolies. I don't have cable because I don't like the way ANY of the local providers operate. The only reason I have a cell phone is because someone else has purchased it - I refuse to get any cell phone under my own name because I think ALL the cell providers offer shitty terms in their horribly one sided contracts.

        We're not talking about food, water, shelter, power, or even health care: this is just the internet. Ne

        • You see, in order to qualify as first world, you need things like water, power, sterile food, telephone, roadways, vehicles, and readily available technological infrastructure like wireless and internet.

          Without it you may as well move to some place down in central or south america and use a hoe in your daily 9-5.

          As such, consumer protections need to be put in place, and part of that is the government making sure there is actual competition.

          If this is not happening, then it should.

          That said, if you have ANY

        • I understand that and I'm sure the OP understands that - most folks know about the local monopolies. I don't have cable because I don't like the way ANY of the local providers operate. The only reason I have a cell phone is because someone else has purchased it - I refuse to get any cell phone under my own name because I think ALL the cell providers offer shitty terms in their horribly one sided contracts.

          That's an understandable attitude, and I partially agree with it. I too refuse to buy a cell phone plan

      • I have to agree. Believe it or not, Comcast is the BEST of the BEST where I live (and believe me, I've looked long and hard). The DSL (Qwest) SUCKS. Hard. I was paying the same price for 2 Mbps down/384 Kbps up with Qwest as I am for 8 Mbps down/640 kbps up (and I'm getting those speeds, too). And Qwest and Comcast are the ONLY options as far as consumer-priced broadband is concerned. [city-data.com]

        If FIOS were available, I'd be there, posthaste. But it isn't, and apparently won't be for quite some time (something abo
      • I'm so sick of this argument. There is no valid alternative where a lot of people live. Where I live we are too far away for DSL. Satellite is *not* an option and FIOS isn't even a gleam in someone's eye. As for TV I don't watch TV anymore so that doesn't affect me.

        I agree with you. Hello grandparent post, some of us don't live in the city (though even most city dwellers don't have options). I live in a small town of 6,000 people. They will be lucky if they have fiber 20 years from now. Satellite, due to su

      • I really am amazed at how hard this is for so many people go grasp. It's almost like they've lived in suburbia or in cities all their lives....

        I'm in rural hill country. Cable doesn't get closer than 15 hilly miles from my house. The only teleco which offers DSL is our local one up the road, 20 miles from me. Lucky for me, they chose to install a few repeaters a few years back, to gain access to the 2-3 dozen customers in my little hamlet. For $40 a month I get a massive download speed that maxes out at 90
      • by GuyverDH (232921)

        You're sick of this argument? You don't even run through all the *options*... Yes. There ARE options, you just don't care for them. Get over it, and choose one of them, otherwise you're what Comcast wants - sheep, to lazy to roll over and look for another source.

        You forgot Cellular and rural wireless - both are very valid options depending on your location.

        • by antdude (79039)

          Cellular has caps like satellites. And their ToS say you can transfers datas a lot, say your Linux ISO files. Rural wireless (WISPs), no such thing in my area. :(

          • by GuyverDH (232921)

            you're right... they're not as attractive as the *CAPPED* comcast, but they are options...

            If something is bad enough, you go with the next best thing for your statement.

            I went with Dish for TV and DSL for internet - I'm currently capped at 1.5Mb/s down, 896Kb/s up - that's almost double what my *cable* upload rate was, and less than a third of the supposed download rate was - funny, I end up with higher average throughput with DSL than I did with 7Mb/s cable... odd that...

    • by TriZz (941893) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:44PM (#24881195)
      I don't think there is a slashdot reader who would willingly choose Comcast over anything other than dial-up or abstinence. Most Comcast users just don't have any other choice. THAT is the problem...
    • by drdanny_orig (585847) * on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:44PM (#24881201)
      Comcast is the worst of the worst. But I'm over a barrel. DSL in my area is way too slow/unreliable. And the hassle of changing to Dish too ugly to contemplate. Those pinheads could make a lot more profit if they'd quit spending so much money on those crappy commercials they've been running for months. Bad puns, unfunny and annoying. (Like my cousin.)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by linzeal (197905)
        I can get 768k DSL from Speakeasy for the same price and 90% of the time I wouldn't notice; but, it is those times I need something quickly like a 30-40 MB PDF to read before I jet off for the light rail that I can't get rid of Comcast's almost 8x speed advantage. I miss Charter cable's 16 meg business class cable internet, that was a great connection and a good company. We need to start talking about the cable companies that are better with their TOS so we can encourage the lesser of two evils to not go
    • I don't have Comcast, but my cable Internet is the only "high speed" service available to me - I'm too far from a CO for any sort of DSL. FIOS is only a dream.

      If you want to fund the difference between my cable Internet bill and a channelized DS-3 (I only need ~6 DS-1s to equal cable), I'll be glad to follow your advice.
      • by GuyverDH (232921)

        Dude - 6 DS-1s would be overkill for your cable... Cable only allows high-speed download, if and ONLY if, there aren't a hundred other high capacity users vying for the same bandwidth... Remember - Cable = SHARED MEDIUM - old style 10Base2 remember????

        Call your cell provider - it's not quite as fast as Cable (when it's working) and it's consistent.

    • I don't disagree with you in principle. However, the practical truth of the matter is that Comcast's customer base is largly comprised of people that wouldn't know a TCP/IP packet from a hand grenade, and largely don't care about these issues.

      As long as Dad can browse CNN.com (or other, shall we say, less savory sites), Mom can check her email, and little Joey can play his flash games, there will be no mass uprising.

      Again, I'm not trying the minimize the fact that voting with your wallet is a good answer, just reminding everyone that the number of wallets involved is statistically small.
    • by Dr. Donuts (232269) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:38PM (#24881809)

      That's the answer a lot companies would like to sell the government on, that there is a "free" market for people to choose the provider they wish.

      Yet out of the other side of their mouth, they go back to the government and ask for monopolies in the areas they service so they can recoup their cost of building out infrastructure. Hell, they've even resorted to suing municipalities to prevent them from building out their own.

      Truth is, for many people in the US, there is no competitive market. There is one provider in their area, and that's it.

      Much as Comcast may boohoo about the FCC and whatnot, here's the schtick: You want to be a monopoly, you get regulated. End of story. Don't want that? Then don't ask for government handouts in the form of monopolies or suing competition.

  • look for a new isp (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BlackSnake112 (912158) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:36PM (#24881101)

    From the article: "Comcast announced it would put a 250-gigabyte-per-month bandwidth cap on residential customers. Customers may get a warning if they go over the monthly cap, and after their first warning, Comcast will suspend their service for a year if they go over the cap a second time."

    Lose you internet connect for a year! I do not have HD TV but how big are those HD movies that people are downloading? How many people have more then one computer on the internet in their home? Take a family of 4 (mom,dad, two teenagers) There are at least 3 computers in the house (4 most likely). If a movie is download by each computer, 250GB will be eaten up really fast. I know people with netflix who download 5-6 HD movies a week on one computer. I think they will run out of HD movies soon, but 250GB will be eaten up fast if one is downloading HD movies.

    I didn't even go to the P2P stuff. This is a move to slow down P2P. Comcast should just come out and say it (if they haven't already). Maybe Comcast should work on improving the bandwidth of it's network instead of spending the time and money on restrictions. I really feel for those who have no other choice.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by teh moges (875080)
      I live in Australia, and I'd kill for a 250Gb plan that doesn't cost half of the average weekly wage [whirlpool.net.au].

      You should note also, that those plans are for 50gb to about 100gb. We don't have 250gb caps here...
    • by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradis@NoSpAm.palegray.net> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:52PM (#24881275) Homepage Journal

      This is a move to slow down P2P.

      I disagree. The more likely option is that this is a move to discourage the use of Internet-based movie services. Such services directly affect Comcast's advertising and on-demand revenue in a negative manner.

      • by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:08PM (#24881467) Journal

        Anyone that has read my comments for awhile will know that I tried to point this out months ago, and got flamed for it basically.

        The problem with letting Comcast or any ISP that also provides content do anything to shape or filter traffic is that there is no oversight on how they will do this to their advantage. In this case, anything that limits your video usage/sharing in favor of using their video delivery systems is an unfair advantage. This is exactly why bundling 3 or more services together is a bad idea for the consumer... very bad idea.

        If Comcast is allowed to mess with traffic on their ISP services, they WILL do so in a way that favors their other services and content. I don't believe there are any scientific studies on the probability of this happening, but you won't find many people (or rocks, walls, monkeys etc) that will tell you that it's unlikely that a big corporation will act unethically if given the chance to do so when nobody is watching.

        As in the case of P2P forged packets, they will do whatever they can get away with. Comcast is, and has shown themselves to be an unethical company. period. They should not be trusted. Class actions suits should follow shortly.

        • The problem with not allowing traffic shaping is that there are some services that need this to work well. For example VOIP benefits from traffic shaping on a saturated node.

    • Netflix download HD movies? I don't think Netflix supports HD movie downloads.

      The movies that you download from Netflix probably are in the 0.5 - 1 GB range at max, less if it is a TV series episode.

      If you downloaded a movie every day to each of 4 computers you are probably less than 1/2 of the 250 MB.

      • by Fnord666 (889225)

        Netflix download HD movies? I don't think Netflix supports HD movie downloads.

        Not to split hairs, but I don't think he actually said that they download their HD movies from netflix. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more, say no more.

    • by Pichu0102 (916292)

      Suspend your access for a year? How the hell do they expect people to continue paying for a service they're refused access to?

  • Delay = suck (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheTick21 (143167)

    The delaying is BS. Even as a large downloader the 250gig limit doesn't bother me that much. Before it was the lack of transparency that bothered me so much. Saying unlimited and then cutting people off for some unknown arbitrary amount? No. Now I can at least choose to stay with a KNOWN limit or go somewhere else. I really hope they lose this appeal.

  • I'm not exactly a super-hacker here... So I was wondering: is there a way to sort of mask P2P packets so that Comcast's current detection methods no longer work? If so, is there a way to continue changing that masking/morphing method so that Comcast is forced to constantly try to adapt, which would make it more expensive for them to do than to just let the damn traffic through?

    What other sorts of passive aggressive responses to this can you network experts think up?

  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:18PM (#24881587)

    You can't drive that big-ass truck on my superhighway...

    Only big-ass trucks carrying my brand of goods
    can travel on my superhighway.

    This ticket issued by: Comcast Traffic Police

  • Comcast fails to realize that they're a regulated monopoly, and have to abide by a set of rules that non-regulated businesses don't.

    Instead of accepting their reality they want to toss all their toys out of the param and throw a crying fit to get their way.
  • by speedtux (1307149) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:02PM (#24882051)

    I think having volume caps and network neutrality is a good compromise. Once there are volume caps, however, there shouldn't be an preferential treatment to one kind of traffic or another. ISPs simply aren't in a position to decide which network traffic is important and which network traffic is not. For example, I'd like my VNC-over-SSH to be treated as just as important and real-time as someone's VoIP traffic.

  • If they put caps on service, there will be a lot of competition making out good on it. I will cancel that day if they put caps on bandwidth. This includes TV, internet access and phone. Sure, I know it will cost me more per month to do it. But, I am ok with this.

    Comcast is about to make a big mistake and it will cost them the farm.

  • by Skapare (16644) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:14PM (#24882615) Homepage

    ... delay the traffic of the highest bandwidth (ab)users. By doing this without regard to the content of the traffic, or its TCP port numbers, etc., then they are in a neutral position. How to do this delaying is another matter. They need to avoid focusing on peer-to-peer file sharing just because it happens to be the activity of the biggest users. As long as that is true, focusing on the actual bandwidth hogging will effectively slow down whatever usage is involved.

    How to slow down users needs to do something other than forged RST packets. Aside from the legal issues, protocol developers will figure out ways to become RST immune. One simple way is to carry on as of there was no RST and see if a normal packet comes along within a certain time frame (a couple seconds). If not, then the RST is considered real. If there is a normal packet soon enough, then the RST is forged. Comcast is using this technique because it is NOT practical for them to selective drop individual packets in transit; RST forgery is a lower cost injection method. But if they continue this method, geeks will figure out ways around it (plural ... there's more than one way to do this).

    Ultimately they will have to make it dynamically adjust the bandwidth rate on the customer attachment equipment. If a customer bursts traffic at high rates too much, gradually lower their bandwidth burst rate limit until it reaches the level where continuous traffic solidly for a month equals 250GB.

  • by zerofoo (262795) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:53PM (#24882941)

    The download cap is a poorly disguised attempt to head-off video downloads via the internet.

    And I'm referring to the legal ones - like iTunes+Apple TV and Netflix's Roku player.

    You can get video and voice from many other companies. These services require bandwidth. Buy these services from companies other than your cable company, and you will find yourself potentially hitting the cap. Buy these services from the cable company (delivered digitally) and the caps disappear.

    This is a classic case of monopoly abuse.

    -ted

    • by freedom_india (780002) on Friday September 05, 2008 @01:44AM (#24884515) Homepage Journal

      Or better yet file a case in court asking it to throttle your payments to comcast: If comcast throttles your connection speed to a lower level for 20 mins, you can throttle your payment to a lower rate calculated exclusively by you for 20 mins. (say 8Mbps DSL costs $100 a month unlimited; that works out to 2 cents a minute. If the speed drops down to 15Kbps for 20 mins each day for 30 days it amounts to 8/100*0.0015*(600).
      State to small-claims court that comcast is violating a contract by "damaging" goods: so you want to pay only for correctly arrived goods. Comcast's high-powered lawyers can't do shit here.
      Get a court order allowing you not to pay for damaged goods: then apply your own definition of damaged goods and send off a payment you calculate along with the court order: If comcast refuses to accept the same, they are in violation of a court order: in which case you can "demand" they fulfill their contract. If they accept, then you have set a precedent.
      Either way you win.
      Use ingenuity instead of anger: corporates do the same. Logical, emotionless, greedy: be like them. Play them at their own game with a home advantage=Small claims court.

  • Is someone dloads HD movies from them exclusively. Then, when they are not warned because they watched all the commercials, they can bust them.

    Just a thought.

    qz

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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