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Summary:

Comcast, which got in trouble with the FCC for its P2P-throttling approach to network management, has now completed its plan that deals with bandwidth hogs by slowing all broadband traffic for heavy Internet users during times of network congestion. The nation’s largest cable provider has posted […]

Comcast, which got in trouble with the FCC for its P2P-throttling approach to network management, has now completed its plan that deals with bandwidth hogs by slowing all broadband traffic for heavy Internet users during times of network congestion. The nation’s largest cable provider has posted a chart on its network management page showing that, as of the end of the year, it stopped throttling P2P traffic across its entire service footprint. The most useful thing about the little Google Gadget, though, is that it gives a bit more detail on exactly which markets Comcast serves — data that’s sometimes hard to get from cable providers.

  1. Is there any way to know if and when you are being throttled?

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  2. Any idea on the meaning of the y-axis? Is it (a) percent of total households/subscribers; (b) percent of household traffic; (c) percent of regions?

    thanks for pointing out this link — it is fascinating

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  3. Wow, thats crazy. Glad I dont use Comcast! LOL

    Jess
    http://www.web-privacy.pro.tc

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  4. Possible way to tell if throttled…

    I think my ISP (RCN Chicago, IL USA) has been doing it for years. I have a gauge that would monitor network traffic. I would see after I had high traffic it would slow. It was very noticable on the meter because for 4/5th of every second no traffic would occur. It was like the ISP’s routers only acknowledge I exist 1/5th of every second. I haven’t noticed any real issues… and somewhat feel it is fair. If I’m not busy slowing everyone else down, the network is blazingly fast.

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  5. digginestdogg Monday, January 5, 2009

    ATT-Yahoo does it for certain. I see my connection slow after I download an OS or App update–I check to a bandwidth measurement tool to verify. But frankly, I wouldn’t have a problem with it if they just came out and told me what they expect my average bandwidth utilization to be for a given rate and I could then shop around for the best deal. But since the FCC figures its okay to local monopolies to “own” subscribers and milk them all they want and when they want, we don’t have many options. Broadband internet need to either ne nationalized and rates fixed nationwide. Then let them make money on value-added services and give me a choice of many vendors for them.

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  6. Stacey Higginbotham Monday, January 5, 2009

    primate: the y-axis is the percent of comcast subscribers who are/were being managed in each way. So now 100 percent of them are under the new plan, rather than see their P2P streams throttled.

    This plan is actually not that bad when compared to Comcast’s previous methods — and is in line with other network management efforts at other providers. For links to coverage of the plan and to the Comcast information, check this post out: http://gigaom.com/2008/09/19/comcast-installs-speed-bumps-for-bandwidth-hogs/

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  7. So what exactly constitutes a bandwidth hog, is it just the 250GB/month cap, or some limit per minute, hour, day, week?

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  8. The more I hear about the things Comcast is doing the more irritated I get. Its really funny how Comcast is promoting their online videos like Fancast.
    “We want you to watch more movies online!! however we are going to limit and throttle your bandwidth.”

    Thank you for using Comcast.

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  9. Agreed…if they’d be more up front about their procedure, I wouldn’t care as much. I mean, I WANT them to crack down on real bandwidth hogs; you know, the guys that sit around with 2-3 computers downloading pirated/cracked videos and music 24 hours a day from newsgroups and the like, but I want a transparent process where I know how they’re calculating the throttling and when its going to happen.

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  10. Comcast throttles my access down to cheap DSL speed 24/7. It will start out fast for the first few seconds or MBs then go straight down to cheap DSL speed (750kbps) when downloading ANYTHING over some predetermined size. I assume their thinking is that as long as they don’t throttle to below the competition’s cheapest speed, people won’t dump them. Their choking process is extremely predictable and could be charted I’m sure. The only way I’ve found around this is to momentarily pause & continue a download as soon as the speed drops to below 800 or so repeatedly (easy to do & monitor w/Firefox) so the speed shoots back up when it continues. This maintains a higher average speed.

    Comcast claims they only do it for people abusing bandwidth. I don’t watch online movies or consume real time media like that. I’m not some power user. The most I do is to download a few Linux distros to try out every month.

    This is really annoying especially considering how much they tout their speed, which they should disclaim to note that you only get that for a few megabytes then the choke comes on.

    On large files like an ISO, I used to download them faster back when their service was advertised as less than 2MB/s using my old cable modem & router, both sped’d @ 10MB/s, not gigabit gear.

    It’s all smoke & mirrors to let the sheeple think they’ve got broadband.

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