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Comcast Adds On File- Sharing Tests And ‘P2P Bill Of Rights’

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A few weeks after Comcast’s (NSDQ: CMCSA) non-deal deal with BitTorrent on making the latter’s P2P apps run more smoothly for the cable operator’s broadband subs, the largest U.S. cable operator said it will begin testing Pando Networks‘ file-sharing technology. On top of that, the two have issued a call for a “P2P bill of rights and responsibilities.”

Comcast and Pando plan to convene a group of “industry experts” to discern what options and controls consumers should have when using P2P apps. Secondly, the two want to address what processes and practices ISPs should use to manage file-sharing running on their networks. One particularly knotty issue the pair hopes to solve is whether “P2P users should have the right to control their computers’ resources when using P2P applications.

As for the tests, Comcast and Pando will examine how file-sharing programs run on other ISP networks, including cable, DSL, fiber and wireless and measure things like performance, speed, distance and geography and bandwidth consumption. Comcast’s recent interest in working with P2P companies comes after the cable company experienced a good deal of regulatory and public criticism for its attempts to slow down file-sharing activity. Feeling somewhat chastened by the backlash, Comcast said it was trying to reduce stress on its bandwidth. Release

Staci adds As Robb notes below, this announcement comes a couple of days before the FCC’s Kevin Martin chairs an April 17 hearing at Stanford on “broadband network management practices.” It’s the second open meeting on the subject this year. Comcast got short shrift at the Harvard meeting in February — but also made a major mistake by paying people to hold seats in the small venue.

2 Responses to “Comcast Adds On File- Sharing Tests And ‘P2P Bill Of Rights’”

  1. I'm Glad They 'R' Ruining Their Image Themselves.
    After All In Todays Market, No Matter The Size Of Their Business…The Structure Can Fall Apart At Any Given Time.

    They Just Want The People [It's Customers] To Believe They Have No Power Over Them. If They Succeed Doing That, They Can Do Whatever They Want. Otherwise They 'R' Nobody Besides Simply Another Store.

    Give 'Em 10 Million Comcast/Time Warner Internet Service Contract Resignations 'N' Well See If They Have As Much Power As They Want To Make Us Believe.

    "Is Always The Same Here In The US. Blah Blah Blah…[Exaggerated Lies.]"

  2. Today, Comcast Corporation and Pando Networks announced that they will lead the industry to create a "P2P Bill of Rights and Responsibilities" for users and ISPs. With an FCC hearing on Comcast's anti-peer-to-peer practices scheduled for later this week, this is hardly a surprise. Once again, Comcast makes another sweetheart-sounding deal, but at the wrong time, and with the wrong sweetheart.

    It takes a special kind of arrogance for a company that sells Internet Access to team up with another company that sells Content Delivery and together decide what rights and responsibilities that the world's Internet users should have.

    As in its earlier "deal" with BitTorrent, Inc., Comcast's announcement today doesn't change any of the facts it faces: in 2006, it assured Congress that network neutrality laws were not necessary, saying it would not "deny, delay, or degrade" its customers in order to deal with traffic congestion. Within a year it was caught secretly doing exactly that! Even after a long string of deceptive and deflective statements and tactics, Comcast continues to degrade their traffic today.

    As was the case in the BitTorrent "deal," neither Comcast Corporation nor Pando Networks represents the millions of customers and other members of the Internet community who were impacted when Comcast secretly launched its anti-P2P attack.

    Today's announcement comes less than 48 hours from the US Federal Communication Committee's public hearing at Stanford University. There, the FCC is scheduled to hear from two panels of experts followed by two hours of public testimony on the Comcast incident specifically as well as similar industry practices in general.

    No doubt we will soon see Comcast and Pando Networking executives start to explain why today's "deal" signals that Network Neutrality regulation is not needed in the Broadband Marketplace.

    Robert M. "Robb" Topolski