John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Comcast Vows to Throttle Customers, Not BitTorrent

The Federal Communications Commission today released its official order sanctioning Comcast for interfering with its Internet customers’ right to access. And while the order is largely toothless, it is quite critical of the company’s so-called “network management practices” and its laughable efforts to downplay them.

The FCC’s 67-page order (PDF) all but calls Comcast a liar, accusing it of using “verbal gymnastics” to justify its network-management practices, and “unpersuasive” ones, to boot. As expected, the FCC gives Comcast 30 days to explain those practices in detail and how the company plans to change them by year’s end.

And just how does Comcast plan to do that? By slowing Internet service for heavy users for 10 to 20 minutes, regardless of the programs they use, with a new system called “Fair Share.”

So instead of throttling applications, Comcast (CMCSA) will throttle subscribers.

“If, in fact, a person is generating enough packets that they’re the ones creating that situation, we will manage that consumer for the overall good of all of our consumers,” Mitch Bowling, Comcast’s senior vice president and general manager of online services, told Bloomberg. User-throttling would last for “roughly between, probably, 10 and 20 minutes,” Bowling said. After that, the heavy user’s speeds would return to normal–until the next transgression. Said Bowling, “If they continue that, we would have to manage them again.”