Filed under: Announcements & Events, Digital Media, Mobile Phones, P2P technology, Legal P2P News & Issues
UK Internet service provider Virgin Media is working on implementing new technology to specifically monitor and limit BitTorrent traffic in 2009, what Wired calls a reversal of its support for net neutrality.
Currently, the company’s policy is to reduce the speed of those users with the largest volume of traffic at peak evening times. According to Virgin Media’s CEO Neil Berkett (whose words about net neutrality being “a load of bollocks” said it all at one time) the new practice will be operative starting the middle of 2009. Here’s a comment made by an official spokesman which, however, is rather vague:
“Broadband has become integral to delivering home entertainment services and with data consumption growing rapidly, we are exploring new ways to enhance our product offering. Part of this involves intelligent monitoring and understanding the way people use our broadband service.”
A few months ago following the purchase of a deep packet inspection technology used to monitor applications Virgin Media said it “does not discriminate internet traffic by application and we have no plans to do so.”
P2POn also kept his readers informed about Comcast’s controversial practice of throttling P2P file sharing traffic in U.S., which at first it didn’t admit to but eventually made public 3 months ago.
On Friday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted, as many have hoped and expected in favour of the complaint filed against Comcast, the leading cable company in the US.
According to Kevin J. Martin, chairman of the commission, all Internet providers and communication companies are now officially warned as this case is an example of what will happen if they don’t give their customers the freedom to use their networks after their own needs. Martin was also firm when saying that the Internet must remain open.
The 3-2 vote by the FCC protects consumers from having their Internet traffic and connection blocked.
Earlier this year, after having received accusations of traffic interference, Comcast talked about its intention to restructure its Internet traffic management, thus putting into action a plan to handle all data equally and objectively. After the company’s announcement, Kevin J. Martin seemed rather skeptical when referring to Comcast’s ability to change its practices.
Comcast’s unfair management of traffic got the attention of the FCC in November due to a complaint against the company which was accused of discriminatory practice – interfering with p2p Internet traffic.
As announced, the FCC’s vote implies not fine to be paid by Comcast but (what’s really important), it imposes Comcast a practice that excludes blocking P2P traffic over its network.
Press release reveals that Comcast Corp. will work together with Vonage Holdings Corp., the leading independent Internet phone service, to ensure a fair treat for its customers with regard to Internet calling.
Comcast is currently under investigation by the Federal Communications Commission for what critics say is an unfair way to manage its subscribers’ Internet traffic.
Comcast got us used to its claim that this practice is required to prevent having a small number of high-traffic subscribers making a neighborhood network much slower. However, it pledged to implement a new traffic management system that will not discriminate between various types of traffic by the end of the year.
Another move from the company was to appeal to file-sharing companies in an attempt to create mutually acceptable techniques. This new agreement with Vonage is by the same token.
As Internet telephone traffic is particularly affected by delays, it can easily become exposed to congestion as well as traffic management.
Probably worth mentioning is that both companies are competitors in the phone business, Comcast currently having 5.2 million phone subscribers, while Vonage only about half that number.