9 Comments

Summary:

The FCC’s inquiry into Comcast’s blocking of BitTorrent has resulted in a new wave of unity among P2P companies, with competitors like BitTorrent, Vuze and Miro demanding enforceable rules against interference with P2P traffic. Representatives of all three ventures joined Free Press today in a press […]

The FCC’s inquiry into Comcast’s blocking of BitTorrent has resulted in a new wave of unity among P2P companies, with competitors like BitTorrent, Vuze and Miro demanding enforceable rules against interference with P2P traffic. Representatives of all three ventures joined Free Press today in a press conference call, on which they made the case for Net Neutrality legislation.

Comcast, on the other hand, maintains that its interference with BitTorrent is reasonable and “fully consistent with sound principles of Net Neutrality,” as the company stated in its comments to the FCC. Comcast even tries to paint itself as a true defender of Net Neutrality, arguing that other P2P providers would suffer if BitTorrent was allowed to take over a network’s resources: “There is nothing ‘neutral’ about a network that is not managed,”
the company claims.

Free Press General Council Marvin Ammori called the ongoing FCC inquiry into Comcast’s BitTorrent filtering “critical,” saying that Comcast’s behavior was anti-competitive and threatened innovation. He was joined by representatives from BitTorrent, Vuze and Miro, each of them making their case against Comcast’s filtering. Vuze has previously filed its own petition with the FCC.

Nicholas Reville from the Participatory Culture Foundation explained that his organization’s Miro player is used by thousands of small publishers, with many of them relying on Miro’s built-in BitTorrent support to save on bandwidth costs. “For the publishers we work with it’s absolutely a free speech issue,” he argued, saying that Comcast would never slow down its own HD video downloads. Reville also used his time to call for political intervention: “We absolutely must have a strong Net Neutrally legislation.”

BitTorrent CTO Eric Klinker pointed out that there are now hundreds of companies using the open-source BitTorrent protocol, all of which are potentially affected by Comcast’s network management. Klinker’s statements were notable because BitTorrent Inc. had previously stayed on the sidelines of the conflict, seemingly putting its trust into market-based solutions instead of a regulatory approach. Klinker, however, assured listeners that his company felt “as strongly as Miro does” about the subject.

Comcast, meanwhile, has filed a statement with the FCC that puts the blame for the recent controversy squarely on everyone but the company. In it, Comcast argued that its BitTorrent blocking is actually helping other P2P providers: “Without network management, the success of new applications that are sensitive to interference caused by network congestion — such as Joost, iChat and Veoh — is likely to be impaired.”

Comcast also states that many of the complaints reported during the last couple of months in fact don’t have anything to do with the company’s network management. Instead, it’s apparently just people who like to complain: “Broadband customers have thousands of ‘problems’ every hour, the vast majority of which are completely unrelated to the Internet service they purchase from their broadband service provider,” the company says. And as such, they’re not worth being investigated by the FCC: “Surely, the commission has neither the resources nor the ability to turn itself into the helpdesk for 60 million broadband households.”

Vuze General Council Jay Monahan called these comments “disconcerting.” In response to Comcast’s claims that it only interferes with BitTorrent during peak network use, he stated: “What they are really saying is: We are only slowing down content when you want it the most.”

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. P2P Companies Band Together Against Comcast’s BitTorrent Blocking | Fresh Web 2.0 News Thursday, February 14, 2008

    [...] resources: “There is null ‘neutral’ most a meshwork that is not managed,” the consort claims. Continue datum at Newteevee.com. Tags: bittorrent, vuze, miro, netneutrality, freepress, [...]

  2. This is file sharing, note the word share. Why does there always have to be some corporate snob trying to monopolize what is free? First it’s pay for TV, then it’s pay for water, now it’s pay for swapping files privately held on my PC with someone elses files on their PC? What? Are they joking or just egotisical, maniacal corporate mongers glomming up everyones resources and freedoms. We’re doomed, we need to revolt.

  3. This whole debate is just a distraction from the real issue. How about letting the free market take care of it and keeping the Feds out of it?

    If I put up a web site, and I don’t like the way the hosting company regulates bandwidth, I just cancel my account and get a better web hosting company.

    The problem is, Comcast has a monopoly on broadband in many areas, so a lot of people have no other choice. This is where the real problem lies.

    When we let the technologically illiterate federal government tell private companies how to manage their networks, it won’t be long before the freedom of the internet becomes a thing of the past — for all of us.

  4. Miro – Internet TV Blog » Blog Archive » Net Neutrality Fight Heats Up Tuesday, February 19, 2008

    [...] recently participated in a joint press event with Vuze and BitTorrent, Inc– our products are all directly threatened by the filtering that [...]

  5. Monopolys are a common occurence in hierarchically organized societies. While bureaucratic wrangling isn’t the most desirable solution, it sometimes becomes necessary as it is unlikely that both local and national government are going to quit regulation communications and say let anyone do whatever they want, say as in Somalia. So although free market rhetoric might sound good to some people, it’s empty as a real solution and is simply espousing political opinion.

  6. Ed Felten: Comcast’s FCC filing is flimsy | Fresh Web 2.0 News Saturday, March 1, 2008

    [...] a aggregation of articles most Comcast’s FCC filing during the terminal some life – I took my own effort at it over at Newteevee – but no digit rattling summed it up quite as substantially as Ed Felten. What follows is a brief [...]

  7. Miro – Internet TV Blog » Blog Archive » Become a Miro Sponsor: Support Open Media, Reach Lots of Users Wednesday, March 5, 2008

    [...] It’s continually becoming a more powerful application, and we have a strong voice in the fight for an open and democratic internet. We’re facing a tough problem though: we need more programmers to make Miro into the game [...]

  8. SPIN CITY: Comcast, BitTorrent Non-Deal – GigaOM Thursday, March 27, 2008

    [...] client? Not many. In order for this partnership to have even a modicum of impact, Comcast needs to bring folks like Vuze and other P2P players into the fold. Otherwise, it’s nothing more than a press release full of [...]

  9. Comcast’s P2P Conversion: I’ll Believe It When I See Results « Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff) Saturday, March 29, 2008

    [...] out about Comcast’s throttling policy until the rest of the world did. Indeed, BitTorrent has supported Vuze’s petition with the [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post