Monday, March 31, 2008

Comcast v. the FCC

A couple weeks ago I commented on the Comcast - BitTorrent kerfuffle.
The two companies now appear to have settled their differences. In a joint press conference last Thursday, they announced that they are now working together to insure that Comcast's efforts to manage its network did not unfairly single out any applications. Comcast promised that by the end of 2008 they will only restrict bandwidth for individual users, and then only during peak usage periods when not to do so would cause service disruptions for others. BitTorrent said it was revamping its software to improve efficiency, and that it would work with Comcast to make the software and network function better together.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin, who had threatened Comcast with penalties over the BitTorrent restrictions, was much less charitable. While he said that he was "pleased that Comcast has reversed course" he also said it is not reasonable to "arbitrarily block certain applications," and went on to complain about the pace of Comcast's announced changes.

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